Article Text

E-LEARNING: A GREAT CHALLENGE FOR THE PROFESSION
  1. M J Wielenga1,
  2. J M Hemmink 1
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, Emma Childrenâs Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract

Objectives The knowledge and skills of nurses, doctors, midwives and other professionals in teaching and supporting mothers with infants in breastfeeding in a professional way are not sufficient. A group of teachers and experts in lactation were asked to develop a theoretical as well as practical educational training programme to educate all professionals involved.

Methods In 2007, 450 professionals followed a 2-h mandatory meeting session to prepare them for the upcoming training on knowledge and discuss the necessary change of attitude. Professionals were trained using an e-learning educational program based on expert opinion, newly designed protocols and schedules of working procedures.

Results Most nurses (85%) but only a minority of the doctors (28%) performed both activities satisfactorily. e-Learning as an educational tool was appreciated by participating professionals because one could perform parts of the program at home as well as in the workplace, and take all the time needed. Improving quality of care around breastfeeding with our educational approach is subject to a scientific study at present.

Conclusions It was decided professionals have to perform the e-learning program every 4 years to keep up the desired standard of knowledge. Improvements in knowledge and skills are also necessary to reach our goal of becoming a breastfeeding-friendly hospital in the near future.

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