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Talks held on integrating ECHO programs into Division of Nursing Education

Talks held on integrating ECHO programs into Division of Nursing Education

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The Division of Nursing Education (DONE) and representatives from the Early Childhood Health Outreach (ECHO) project have discussed the prospect of integrating the ECHO program into the Division’s existing curricula.{{more}}

The meeting, which was held on August 8, 2011, was chaired by the Vice Dean of the DONE, Sister Beverly Liverpool, and was also attended by a representative from the community nursing service, Sister Ferosa Lewis Roache. Presentations were done by the ECHO program coordinator Kathleen Mandeville, who outlined the programme’s training, and Mercedes Moss, Lecturer at DONE, who highlighted the areas in which the ECHO programme will be incorporated into the curricula. The discussion was centered mainly on the curricula of the registered nurse (RN) and nurse’s assistant (NA) programmes, with mention of future training for community health aides.

Major components that were identified as priority to include into the DONE curricula were the ages and stages questionnaire and training nurses to make inexpensive toys. The questionnaire is an evaluation instrument used by ECHO in detecting abnormalities in children 0-3 years, and inexpensive toys are used for and during child stimulation activities.

The ECHO project, which is a two year pilot project supported by PAHO, UNICEF, Caribbean Child Support Initiative (CCSI) and the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment, focuses on the health, education and social conditions of child development in children 0 to 3 years, with specific emphasis on health. The project is slated to end in January 2012 and, therefore, presents the need for the programme to be sustained. This was and is the main reason for the discussions of integration and institutionalization of the project into existing maternal and child health services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Division of Nursing Education is expected to develop and implement the ECHO program into its curricula for the upcoming school term, September 2011, with future discussions continuing.

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