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Zambia Spotlight: Interview With TALENT Group Participant

28 October 2022

To mark the completion of the first wave of TALENT groups in collaboration with Health Education England and the University of Salford, we hear from a Zambian participant on what inspired her to join the project, what she has learned, and the impact of online communities of practice.

Can you tell us how you heard about the TALENT group project?
I was supporting a patient on the ward who happened to be related to the Principal Tutor from the Nursing School. I spoke to the tutor who liked the way that I was interacting with the patient. He then told me about the project, and I applied.

Could you please summarise the impact the project had on you and your work? 

I have worked here for over three years now. Sometimes we receive junior nurses on the ward and you are given the task to support and orient them. Before the TALENT group training, I just wanted to work on my own. But after I joined the TALENT group on Pulse, I learned that being a leader is not about being the best. As a leader, it’s all about teamwork in able to reach your goals. The coordinator also spoke about emotional intelligence and that we had to understand ourselves, our own feelings, and those of others.  

The group consisted of other nurses and midwives from across Zambia and in other health facilities around the country, did you learn anything from them? 

We had a topic on bedside nursing and were given tasks from the coordinators about how we cope with certain situations. We would then compare with each other and work through how we dealt with the situation. We also learned about time management. Our Coordinator taught us about working with other colleagues and how we can engage with other cadres across the ward.  

What was different about this type of online learning?

I could engage in the group when I was at home or after I had finished work because it was all on my phone. I prefer this because when I’m at work, my focus is patient so I can’t go on my phone. As a group, we would set aside some time when everyone was free to discuss different matters after work.   

What differences have you noticed in your work after the project?

I’ll be very honest, I am the type of person who is a bit short-tempered. So, when somebody does something I don’t like, I cut them off and just do everything on my own. But now I can understand myself. I understand my feelings and if we have an argument, I set aside time to resolve this and then we continue to work as a team. The topic I enjoyed the most was emotional intelligence. I have spoken about the training so much that even my friends and colleagues are now interested in joining! 

Were there any issues or challenges with this form of digital learning? 

Personally, I didn’t have any challenges accessing Pulse or Whatsapp. But for others, due to their location and work hours, it’s hard to find the correct time when everyone is available. That’s why we use Whatsapp for instant communication. There were also some issues with internet connectivity. 

What suggestions would you have to improve the training? 

To increase the number of participants so that more people can have the privilege that I did! 

Is there a way for you to access all the sharing and learning across the project history? 

Yes, we communicated and shared out experiences on the Pulse group. I often go back and refer to various discussions we had when I encounter an issue.  

It’s interesting what you said about it being a privilege having done this training, and I just wondered if your colleagues had the same experience, would it have an impact on the nurses’ work and patient care? 

I think it would really change a lot because we come from different backgrounds with different issues. We deal with difficult patients from different areas. I think if more nurses were to learn about the TALENT group project, it would greatly change the nursing culture and its impact on the patient.  

 You can learn more about the TALENT group project here 

This post was written by:

THET - Staff


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