Practical clinical skills training for Physiotherapists in Burma improves care for stroke patients

Thanks to excellent mentorship, a very willing volunteer patient and engaged participants this weekend’s in-person training in Burma was a great success, where participants improved their practical clinical skills in managing stroke patients.

When extreme weather and flooding hit Hpa-an, Burma, earlier this year, the clinical skills training session due to be held in tandem with a session in Yangon, Burma, had to be postponed. Rescheduled for this weekend, the team were thrilled to finally get together to host in-person clinical skills training on Stroke for six physiotherapists based in Hpa-an. The focussed 4-hour session was facilitated by local Physiotherapists Thinzar Ko Ko & Nan May Hnin Su alongside Hsu Wai Mon Oo (Educational Representative for ReLAB-HS), Martina Lukin (Rehabilitation Community Manager) and Stacy Schiurring (Physiotherapy Trainer and International Mentor) who all joined via Google Meet.

This was a follow up to the participant’s prior learning through the Physiopedia Plus (Plus) online Stroke Programme and online discussions held in the Rehabilitation Community allowing for focussed practical skills sessions on the day. The session focussed on evaluation and assessment techniques; evidence-based, stroke-specific outcome measures; techniques and treatment options to improve functional mobility and independence for patients after stroke; and creating evidence-based and personalised treatment plans for patients with both acute and chronic stroke.

Additional value was added to this face-to-face meeting thanks to a volunteer patient joining the session, enabling participants to practice their skills together, and with the support of the mentor, who – thanks to a carefully thought through room set up with multiple camera views – was able to easily observe and offer feedback throughout the practical session.

Participants were grateful to take part in an in-person session both for the opportunity to discuss face-to-face with peers and to get feedback from the international mentor regarding the problems that they are facing when seeing patients in their own clinical practice.

This was the first of the ReLAB-HS clinical skills training sessions in Burma that a volunteer patient was invited to, and this made a huge difference in terms of participant learning and focus for the session. Participants came away with confidence in the skills of gait analysis, falls prevention and upper limb assessment and interventions that will be directly applicable to their clinical practice and improve care of stroke patients in Burma.

This work is supported by the USAID funded Learning Acting Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) project and is not possible without the generous and committed contribution of the Leahy War Victims fund.

ReLAB-HS is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented under cooperative agreement number 7200AA20CA00033. The consortium is managed by prime recipient, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.