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Athabasca University

Rural and Remote Maternity Education (RRME) program

Another example of how our students use their course work to real effect in the workplace and beyond!

Hospital logoOn Feb 28, 2013, Mariea Spray and Sue Erdman-Burton, two MDE students at Athabasca, saw a proposal for a DE project that they had developed for one of their courses become a reality - the Rural and Remote Maternity Education (RRME) program went on-line.  Based at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) in northern Ontario, the program uses DE to deliver high-risk and specialized obstetrical education to registered nurses serving remote and rural communities.  Many of these professionals have trouble accessing best-practice education because of their isolated locations  – a single two-day program in Toronto can easily cost $2,500 in travel, lMaria Sprayiving and course costs. “Our intensive, six month program costs $2,000 per person and is almost entirely delivered on-line” said Mariea, who is the Staff Education and Professional Practice Manager at SLMHC. “We also have a practicum of one to two weeks during which our students receive hands-on training at the SLMHC which is itself state-of-the-art with computerized mannequins capable of simulating a woman in labour.”

Developed on the Healthstream LMS, the six-month course has three main modules - Prenatal Care, Labour and Delivery and Post-Natal Care - providing a comprehensive and intensive training experience for nurses who are often the only healthcare professionals for hundreds of kilometres.

Sue BurtonAn independent consultant’s report that identified the need for First Nations’ maternity care that was holistic in approach and culturally sensitive was the catalyst for this project. “We developed the business proposal as part of our course work for MDDE 605, Planning and Management in DE and Training, taught by Dr. Roger Powley”, adds Sue, “ and his guidance was invaluable. Success indicators requested by Health Canada were subsequently added and the proposal was ready.” As a result, the project received funding in May of 2012 and the first cohort of 16 students started their courses this February. Learners will use a combination of LMS materials, on-line articles, an interactive blog for questions and discussion and soon, teleconferencing, video conferencing and webinars featuring presentations from experts in the field will be added to the  DE environment. “Somewhere, sometime a child will be safely delivered because a nurse who took this course realized the mother was in trouble before she knew it herself,” added Sue, “and DE will have  made that possible.”


Last updated by MK May 21, 2014

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