Poster Presentation

Monday, November 5, 2007
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Monday, November 5, 2007
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Rising Stars Posters
HIV, Education and Empowerment: Building Capacity Among Ugandan Nurses
Jean N. Groft, RN, BSc, MN, PhD(c), Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Learning Objective #1: describe the challenges and barriers experienced by Ugandan nurses and nurse-midwives who provide AIDS care to people who are infected or affected by HIV.
Learning Objective #2: discuss the process and outcomes of building capacity through participation in relevant, community-driven inclusive research activities.

Ugandan nurses feel inadequate in the struggle against AIDS, due to their lack of knowledge and resources in a country with almost 1,000,000 HIV-infected individuals.  Twenty-five nurses were selected to undertake an educational program to improve their abilities to offer services. This critical ethnography explored the impact of that training on the nurses’ professional, personal, and social lives, and attempted to empower participants to identify injustices and initiate political action.

Detailed descriptions were compiled of nurses in the workplace and their interactions with clients. Individual and group interviews allowed participants to discuss their roles and capacity to initiate changes in their practice.

 Nurses unanimously found the program to be extremely beneficial to their practice and personal lives. They prioritized numerous issues which they felt could be addressed, and several have engaged in small research projects. All nurses declared their  commitment to providing excellent community-based services.

 Opportunities for continuing professional education provide synergistic benefits within and well beyond the workplace. Nurses apply knowledge and skills to extended families in rural villages, and contribute thoughtful, evidence-based policy strategies. The role of nurses in the wider distribution of HIV services must not be overlooked in the attempt to lower disease prevalence in Uganda.