During my internship at NARAL Pro-Choice, I was given the responsibility of working on numerous projects that were outside my original assigned duties. I was asked to conduct research and literature reviews on training front-line staff on how to communicate effectively with teens in a health care setting. The project composed of deriving information on what is to be considered “front-line staff”, how they interacted with the teens, whether clinics are teen-friendly, and the actual need for front-line training. During the process of the literature, various critical points were examined:
- Perception and understand of adolescent development by front-line staff
- Good communication skills
- Respect and non-judgmental attitudes towards teens
- Service Integration
- Appointment Scheduling
- Creating a comfortable and welcoming environment
- Teen participation and feedback
- Clinic Support Services
The literature review and past research have identified such areas of focus as “best-practices”. Using these critical components, we used integral part in the development and dissemination of the “Front-Line Training” curriculum and evaluations. In preparation for the development of the training, our peer educators were also asked for their feedback since they were the facilitators that were going to be implementing said project. Questions that were identified in an intern-lead focus group were:
- How comfortable do you feel talking to health care professionals?
- What learning techniques are you most comfortable with?
- How important is the communication between you and front-line staff at your doctor’s office?
After extensive, research and information gathering the AHCCP interns worked closely together to develop a curriculum that was both easy to teach for the teens, but understandable for the health care professionals they were servicing. The end product is still in revision, but the current edition is on file and being reviewed by the Department of Health – this organization provides most of the funding for the Adolescent Health Care Communication Project (AHCCP) and has asked the program to start curriculum development before the end of FY2012.
Challenges: The challenges the interns faced most was
- Deciding what teaching techniques work both with teens and health care professionals
- Deciding the format to use
- Deciding if we wanted to use certain wording
- The length and materials needed for each section in the training
- What learning model to use
- The literature Review (however, most literature reviews need revision)
- Expected date of completion
Success: How we overcame each barrier
- The techniques we agreed on using were, active group discussion, role-plays, brainstorming, agree and disagree, myth and facts, and hands on activity. Based on certain evidence-based practices that have used these techniques have said that they work best with any populace.
- We used a format that transitions easily from section to the next
- The wording we used was between 10th-12th grade level
- The curriculum was designed used
Currently, the curriculum is in revisions and the evaluations as well. The new incoming interns will continue to work with the program and revise the curriculum as requested by the DOH. Below you can view some of the literature review and the current Front-Line Training Curriculum.