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MALLE MAMA, Nurse Supervisor in Koutiala, Mali

February 2023

Malle Mama is a Nurse Supervisor at the Pediatric Hospital in Koutiala, Mali. He has been working with MSF since 2011, in different departments of the paediatric hospital, such as nutrition, paediatrics, neonatology and emergency admission. Since March 2022, Malle has been participating in the Basic Clinical Nursing Care training programme organised by the MSF Academy for Healthcare, with the aim of improving his professional skills. “At the time the initial evaluation of the programme was carried out, I realised that there were many shortcomings in our technical gestures, and gaps that needed to be corrected”.

When the initial evaluation of the program was carried out, I realised that there were many shortcomings in our technical gestures

Malle has seen many changes in the practices that have been carried out at the hospital since the start of the programme, such as those related to the cleaning of medical equipment, taking anthropometric measurements in the emergency admission department, how to complete bedside control charts, or the patient handover system. “We thought we were always doing good practices but, thanks to the MSF Academy, we know they were not all the best practices. There have been a lot of changes, for example, in my current emergency admission department, for all the children who came we had them lying down to take the measurements. But with the training we learned that all children over two years old must be measured standing up. It’s a very beneficial training for all the participants, even when you have had healthcare education”.

As the MSF Academy develops its programmes in the workplace, it is important to find a solution with the participating teams to integrate the learning time into their working hours, incorporating replacements for the duration of the training programme. Malle, as a supervisor in his department, says finding replacements for managers was a challenge. “With the other participants there was not so much of a problem, but we, as supervisors, had difficulties because, with the high flow of patients, it was sometimes complicated to attend the training sessions, because there were no substitutes.”

With the Academy, we have found a good cleaning technique for the various equipments in the service

However, as he explains, there is the possibility of retaking the modules which could not be followed. “In addition, when I have not been able to follow a module, it is the other learners who explain to me, even as their supervisor, ‘we don’t do that anymore, we do it like that.’”

Malle also became a learning companion. The MSF Academy developed a cascade system in its bedside clinical mentoring approach, to enable and facilitate one-to-one mentoring of learners with fellow learners. These learning companions are themselves participants in the training, and take on the role of companion to accompany the transfer of the learnings of their peers to the workplace after having received the theoretical and practical training. “When they made the announcement that they needed volunteer learning companions, I asked myself the question: will I have time to do this with my workload?

And then I said to myself, me as a supervisor, if I am a learning companion, it will make it easier for me to support the teams in the departments. The moment when I act as companion, I take off the supervisor’s boubou, and we take stock of what we learned in training, and it does not enter into their work reports.”

I decided to become a learning companion to better support my colleagues in the service as supervisor

Malle is one of the participants in the Basic Clinical Nursing Care programme that the MSF Academy has rolled out in various MSF-supported hospitals since 2019, with the aim to strengthen the skills and competencies of nursing staff and thus contribute to improving the quality of care provided to patients.