GSM's Volunteer Programme: Female Teaching Associates
What is the Female Teaching Associate (TA) Programme?
Volunteers in the current Volunteer Programme provide an opportunity for students to practice their physical examination and communication skills in a simulated setting in the Clinical Skills Centre of the Graduate School of Medicine (GSM). The Female TA Programme is an extension of this programme and we recruit and train women from the community to provide teaching and feedback to medical students, whilst themselves being examined.
The programme will provide the opportunity for medical students to practice intimate physical examinations with these women in a controlled, safe, educational setting. By receiving immediate feedback from the TAs, the students can learn the skills required in a sensitive and professional environment. The TA Programme enables medical students to:
- Gain confidence in both the fine technical skills and the sensitive communication skills required to undertake a breast or pelvic examination; and
- Learn to perform breast or pelvic examinations in a non-threatening environment with immediate feedback and guidance from an experienced, trained Teaching Associate.
- Maximise learning via a small group setting and standardised method of instruction.
The Female TA Programme has been successfully running at the GSM for the last 4 years.
As an extension of the GSM Volunteer Programme, the status for Teaching Associates at the University is “volunteer”. This means that Teaching Associates will be covered during their time at the GSM by “UOW Volunteer Workers Personal Accident Insurance”
Each session will last up to two hours and participants will receive a gift in appreciation of the high level of contribution to the teaching of our students. This is made in the form of a gift card to a well-established retail group, currently at a rate of $38.14/hour for training and reserve sessions; and $76.29/hour for physical examination sessions.
The intimate examinations include:
- Breast Examination – Palpation of breast and surrounding areas including axilla and back
- Bi-manual pelvic examination – The student would examine the uterus and ovaries and any abnormalities in the pelvic cavity and lower abdomen
- Introduction of speculum to locate and view the cervix – The speculum is introduced in to the vagina, opened and the cervix viewed
We want to recruit more women onto the programme for 2013 as TAs will take part in teaching in the 2nd half of the year. As part of the recruitment of women onto the programme we will conduct interviews and an initial physical examination will be performed by one of our doctors. This examination after interview serves a number of purposes:
- To give the women the experience of what an examination should feel like and familiarise both TA and doctor with the woman’s individual anatomy
- To ascertain the woman’s suitability for the programme.
- To ensure there is no pathology present before taking part in examination sessions with students.
Training for participants
To ensure a quality programme, after interview and assessment examination, TA's will participate in intensive, regular and ongoing training. The training before sessions with the students will include anatomy of the pelvis, terminology and constructive feedback techniques.
All sessions and training of Teaching Associates will be supervised by doctors. Discussion on any potential risks will be covered during the training session e.g. discomfort, tenderness. No medical advice will be given and no treatment given for any condition. If however any problems are identified during a session, this will be discussed with you in private and an appropriate referral will be made.
These sessions will be carried out at both GSM campus locations in Wollongong and Shoalhaven. If you are interested in the TA Programme, you will need to complete an Expression of Interest form. For more information please contact either of the Volunteer Programme Coordinators.
Expression of Interest Form
- Download Female Teaching Associate Programme Expression of Interest Form [PDF 20KB]