It seems crazy to think that we are all signed up for courses and getting ready for the second year to start. My practicum flew by and I am excited to have the opportunity to stay involved with the work as we start next semester. I am working with Kybele on a project called MEBCI 2.0 (Making Every Baby Count Initiative) which aims to improve quality of newborn care by using quality improvement, systems thinking/strengthening, and leadership trainings. Check out this paper to learn more about the first iteration of MEBCI! For my deliverables I am creating PowerPoint presentations and training manuals for (1) Models for Improvement and (2) PDSA (plan, do, study, act) for clinical providers in Ghana.
We were told from the start of practicum searching that there is no such thing as a “perfect practicum,” so I definitely feel like I lucked out. My work with Kybele, using quality improvement (QI) and systems thinking to improve neonatal and maternal outcomes, is exactly what I want to do in the future and gave me irreplaceable insights on the field. The best thing that came out of the practicum was being able to see the program design process from early on, from brainstorming competencies and training topics to drafting training materials. I’ll be working over the next few weeks to finalize these materials. Throughout, I have used materials from the Ghana Health Service and the National Healthcare Quality Strategy along with information from our project partners, mostly the American Academy of Pediatrics, in order to make sure that our trainings are the most relevant, usable, and built upon previous training experiences opposed to being redundant. I also spent a lot of time making sure that language was appropriate and consistent with materials that were already in circulation throughout the tertiary hospitals that Kybele is working within.
Although I was a little intimidated at the start of the practicum and felt like there was so much literature I needed to read in order to get myself speaking the same language as the team, I learn best by actively doing things and am grateful that the team allowed me to jump right into this project, consistently providing me with critical feedback along the way. It was also great to meet the team that I have been working with (in person!) before the practicum officially began and to have another Global Health student, Erin, working on the same MEBCI project. I’m excited to start next semester with this new perspective on program design and material development and look forward to continuing to work on similar projects in the Fall!
Hope everyone has a good rest of the summer!