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An ongoing collaboration started in 2016 which delivers user training to final year student midwives and nurses


  • 7 one-week-long courses run over 6 years since 2016.

  • 100 final year midwives and nurses given practical user training each year.

  • all training done by one or two volunteers.

  • most students are from poor families in under resourced Western Uganda.

One of the most common reasons for the breakdown of medical equipment is improper use. With interventions like this the Amalthea Trust aims to reduce down time for vital items of equipment.

In is an interview volunteer Dave Robinson (United Lincolnshire NHS Trust) gave more of an insight into his work at FINS:

Q: What is  the range of different devices that you have taught them on?

I introduce the students to a range of modern medical equipment. I explain the science behind it works, how to use and care for it properly, and give them practical hands-on experience of using some of the more common items of medical equipment (Pulse oximeters, Blood Pressure Monitors, ECG Monitors and Recorders, Thermometers, CTG’s (Foetal Monitors), Incubators, Infusion Devices, etc)

Q: Can you give us a rough breakdown of how much time is theory and how much actual hands-on practice?

The morning session is usually spent on theory work (a description of a particular physiological measurement. A description of the device used to measure it and an explanation of how it works, and any clinical considerations). The afternoon usually starts with a question and answer session, followed by a practical demonstration.  The students then split into small groups and have a practical session actually taking measurements on each other, or operating a particular device.

Q: Do you know whether the students are all Ugandan or whether there are other nationalities involved?

The students at FINS are all from the West of Uganda. They are generally from poor families who make a considerable sacrifice to send their children/grandchildren/siblings to FINS in the hope of providing them with a future career.

Q: Do you have any information on what sort of places they go and work after graduation.

Career opportunities for hospital based nurses is very limited in Uganda. Every year there are many more newly-qualified nurses than there are posts available. Many FINS students wish to work abroad. Although some are very keen to improve the health and wellbeing of their local communities. I cannot comment on a lot of previous students as many disappear off the ‘radar’, but I do know that some previous students now work in Ugandan hospitals,  some work with community organisations and NGO’s,  some have sought employment abroad, some have opened their own small pharmacies and clinics in Uganda. Some have left nursing and returned home, and others have joined the hospitality sector.


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