Ongoing training and professional development are important for cervical screening providers to ensure competent, current patient care. For nurse cervical screening providers, continuing professional development is part of the requirements for national registration.
There are several accredited training courses available for general practice staff that may be relevant to cervical screening and working with vulnerable communities.
Cervical screening training
Cervical Screening Online Training Modules – a series of six nationally accredited online training modules about cervical screening:
- Cervical cancer
- The National Cervical Screening Program
- Communicating the importance of screening – this module includes information about engaging under-screened and never-screened patients
- Screening in practice
- Understanding the screening clinical pathway
- Communicating test results and patient management.
These modules support you to communicate the importance of cervical with patients who are not up to date with screening. They include videos focused on people:
- from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- with an intellectual disability.
Visit RACGP – QI&CPD or contact your Primary Health Network for details on any local training about the National Cervical Screening Program.
Training in cultural competence and inclusive practice
There are many training options available for improving cultural competence and inclusive practice:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness in General Practice – 6-hour Active Learning Module accredited for 40 Category 1 QI & CPD points. Free for Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) members and participants in the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive (RACGP).
- Online cultural orientation plan for healthcare providers – short, free, online course (Western Australian Centre for Rural Health).
- Staff knowledge training tool for Indigenous identification – A downloadable 12 question quiz to assess knowledge and promote best practice (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).
- Introduction to Cultural Competence – Introductory online learning module (Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health).
- Cultural Respect Encompassing Simulation Training (CREST) – Training to promote culturally sensitive healthcare and communication. Available nationally online or as face-to-face training in Victoria. The four modules cover:
- Introduction to cultural diversity
- Negotiating between different health beliefs
- Effective communication when English proficiency is low
- Communicating culturally sensitive issues.
- LGBTI Professional Development, Education and Training – information on training opportunities available across Australia – National LGBTI Health Alliance
Community education sessions
Community education sessions about cervical screening can help to engage patients who have never had a Cervical Screening Test and those who are not up to date.
Health educators might conduct sessions with existing women’s groups or gather people together for special events, such as Women’s Health Days. Groups may include women’s groups, carers groups, Aboriginal Elders groups, consumer groups, church groups, etc.
- Where possible, deliver the information in the group’s first language.
- If group members are from CALD backgrounds, bilingual health educators may be available locally to deliver education sessions about cervical screening. If they are not, engage the assistance of an interpreter.
- For groups of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women, consider engaging, or working in partnership with, local Aboriginal health workers or educators to deliver education sessions about cervical screening.
- Ensure the health educator has a good understanding of their audience and is able to deliver information in a culturally sensitive manner.
- Use visual aids, such as diagrams of the female reproductive system and cervical screening equipment (speculums etc) to explain concepts.
- Allow plenty of time for questions.
- If planning a larger event, include a range of interesting topics and engaging guest speakers to increase the appeal of the event and hopefully, attract more patients.
- Providing transport and/or childcare may encourage more patients to attend.
- Choose a time that works well for the patients you are trying to attract. You might find that evenings work better in your community.