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1 Michelle Gerka, Vice-President Family and Community Education –Cicatelli Associates Inc. The Changing Role of the Health Educator June 2, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Michelle Gerka, Vice-President Family and Community Education –Cicatelli Associates Inc. The Changing Role of the Health Educator June 2, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Michelle Gerka, Vice-President Family and Community Education –Cicatelli Associates Inc. The Changing Role of the Health Educator June 2, 2009

2 2 In 2009, the role of the health educator in family planning agencies is being examined and redefined to include the following three roles: educator; outreach worker and educational based counselor in the clinic setting.

3 3 Within this Webinar we will do the following: 1) Examine some of the current trends in health education and some relevant information from Doug Kirby 2) Define outreach in the context of the role of the health educator and look at some of the necessary skills for this task 3) Describe how the health educator can provide some education based counseling in the clinic setting

4 4 *What might be some of the rationale for the shift in the educator role?

5 5 In many family planning clinics we are seeing a reduction in the number of new and returning patients, new populations of clients are coming into our communities including newly uninsured groups and other pockets of potential clients, more demands are being placed on provider and clinician's time therefore looking at new ways to fulfill some of the counseling and educational requirements and some of the research regarding the effectiveness of "one time" educational programs.

6 6 Lastly, family planning agencies have been struggling with limited funding for the past eight years therefore creating the need to rethink staffing patterns.

7 7 First let's look at what has been currently happening with health educators.

8 8 Many agencies are working closely with schools, community based organizations and other venues in order to provide educational opportunities for young people in their communities. In addition, with the OPA emphasis on family involvement and some of the research regarding the influence of parents on sexual decision making, some educators are also working with adults.

9 9 *Let's hear from the group regarding where and how you are providing sexual health education in your communities.

10 10 According to research, they share 10 characteristics What do we know about teaching sexuality education?

11 11 TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE SEX EDUCATION PROGRAMS (Douglas Kirby, PhD) 1.Focused – several behaviors 2.Based in theory 3.Provide and reinforce clear messages 4.Basic, accurate information about risks and avoidance 5.Address social pressures

12 12 TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE SEX EDUCATION PROGRAMS (Douglas Kirby, PhD) 6. Model/enable practice in: communication, negotiation, refusal skills 7.Diverse teaching methodology 8. Developmentally, culturally, experience appropriate 9.Sufficient time (14+ hours optimum; less w/smaller groups) 10.Knowledgeable, TRAINED teachers/ peer educators -- believe in program

13 13 The challenge for many of us is how to negotiate opportunities in our communities so they we can provide education to groups over five to six sessions. We need to be able to provide outcomes evaluation data to demonstrate our effectiveness.

14 14 What are some of the challenges of doing this?

15 15 The next dimension of the health educator is to outreach and bring in new populations to the clinics.

16 16 This typically is done in the context of the health education session where we might market out services to participants but this may not be enough to fulfill the outreach activities needed in family planning.

17 17 Outreach is really a systematic approach to looking at the demographics in your community, identifying populations who could benefit from family planning services and then developing marketing and outreach strategies that match this information.

18 18 Outreach for some health educators may require new and different skills than those utilized in health education. They might include traditional venues like health fairs, agency presentations, and networking but could also include street outreach, outreach in non-traditional settings like nail salons, hair braiding salons, laundromats, bars, bowling alleys, lunch rooms in factories and so forth.

19 19 How does outreach occur in your agencies and who is responsible for these activities?

20 20 Many agencies have marketing brochures and materials that might complement outreach but many outreach activities are driven by "person power".

21 21 Outreach to adolescents also takes a very different approach than outreach to adults. Let's talk about how your agency is providing outreach to adolescents.

22 22 To the extent possible it is important for agencies to try to assess how new clients/patients have heard about the family planning services and to utilize these strategies for recruiting more patients.

23 23 Some agencies ask this question at intake so they have a better sense of this information.

24 24 In your agency, are health educators being asked to do outreach in a new way and what are some of the issues?

25 25 The last component to examine is educational based counseling in the clinic setting.

26 26 The term educational based is critical as we are using the opportunity to counsel like on educational messages and information

27 27 Educators are being assigned to the clinic as a portion of their work week to complement the work of the clinical staff.

28 28 Educational counseling might include: family involvement, birth control options, coercion counseling, sexual risk reduction, information about Emergency contraception, HIV counseling and much more

29 29 Educators may need basic counseling skills including rapport building, establishing trust, utilizing open-ended questions, reflective listening, affirmations and summarizing to mention a few.

30 30 Skills needed for 1-to-1 counseling are very different from skills needed for group presentations or outreach.

31 31 Family Planning Educators are working in many agencies in three very different arenas requiring three very different skill sets.

32 32 What is your experience in your agency with how the role of the health educator is being defined?

33 33 What additional training or skill development is needed to meet all of these differing professional areas?

34 34 Cicatelli Associates provides an annual training for Sexual Health Educators each summer called NATISHE. This year’s training is being dedicated to the changing role of the sexual health educator. It is being held at the Renssalaerville Institute from July 27-31. For more information contact Christine Rivera at 212-594-7741 ext 276.

35 35 Thank you for your participation.

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