Sam Walsh & Julie-Anne Martyn

303 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander continuing education on country

This presentation highlights the continuing education needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Practitioners.  We will share with you what we learned about the characteristics of the ‘best’ (aka ‘deadly’) practitioner and what practitioners said they needed to be ‘deadly’. The participants in this study identified the knowledge, skills and attributes typical of a ‘deadly’ practitioner. They described the content needed to create and deliver meaningful Continuing Education (CE).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Practitioners play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of indigenous people. Practitioners need skills and knowledge in health promotion, primary and secondary healthcare. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner status was recognised nationally in Australia in 2012. Registration practice standards require practitioners to complete CE. However, purposefully designed education programmes for practitioners are rare. Furthermore, practitioners are in the best position to decide their education needs. Practitioners can reach their career aspirations in nursing, midwifery and medicine when pathways are established.

An appreciative inquiry allowed the participants in this study to explore their CE needs by imagining the best practitioner and identifying the education and modes of delivery that enabled career goal realisation. Identifying practitioner CE needs has been the basis for a self-determined CE programme that is creating pathways to nursing careers. This practitioner-created curriculum was delivered in 2017 as part of transformative research.

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