The experiences of remote and rural Aboriginal Health Workers and Registered Nurses who undertook a postgraduate diabetes course to improve the health of Indigenous Australians


This paper reports on an evaluation of an educational initiative that seeks to improve the diabetes health outcomes of a vulnerable group, Indigenous Australians residing in remote and rural New South Wales.

In this context seven Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) and ten registered nurses (RNs) undertook an accredited Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) course. The aims of this study were to identify the beliefs, attitudes and experiences of this group concerning specialist diabetes training, strategies already used by managers and those that could be used to help consolidate the diabetes expertise of AHWs and RNs.

The findings indicate specialist diabetes training and constructive support is required if AHWs and RNs are to develop from a novice to an expert. We concluded that the ADEA diabetes course is highly relevant to the needs of Indigenous Australians and that constructive support from managers and the university is most important in the development of diabetes expertise.


Meri King
Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Flinders University, Adelaide SA

Lindy King
Associate Dean (Higher Degrees), School of Nursing & Midwifery, Flinders University, Adelaide SA

Eileen Willis
Assistant Dean, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide SA

Rebecca Munt
Lecturer, Coordinator, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University, Adelaide SA

Frith Semmens
Clinical Nurse Consultant: Diabetes, Maari Ma Aboriginal Corporation, Broken Hill, NSW


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Indigenous Australians; type 2 diabetes mellitus; diabetes education for Aboriginal Health Workers; perceptions of specialist diabetes courses


PP: 107 - 117

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