Healthcare partnerships are at the base of all our work. From creating opportunities for elective students to enabling research collaborations to signposting qualified healthcare professionals – at the foundation of all this work is establishing healthcare partnerships. We really value the opportunity to build on our existing partnerships and develop new relationships. If you would like to partner with TEN we would love to hear from you.
Please fill out the contact us form and one of our team will get back to you. It’s important to outline up front how we create these partnerships so that our ethos and working MOU terms are clear to all our users and partners. We rely heavily on the principles of partnership outlined by THET to guide us so that we can ensure the quality and effectiveness of our network. These principles can be found in full here.
Our partnerships are a mixture of formal and informal connections and TEN commits to plan, implement, and sustain these partnerships as reciprocal and accountable arrangements over time. We work jointly with all new partners to negotiate and define the terms of our MOU’s in advance to ensure that all parties are equally represented and that accountability is clearly outlined for the course of any agreement.
The globalised world we live in is characterised by increasing levels of mobility and cross-border migration. This has created a highly interconnected and interdependent landscape where health is an inherently global issue. Understanding health and disease now requires a global understanding of health, health inequities, and the wider determinants of health.
To produce a competent healthcare workforce that is prepared to recognise and meet these global health-related challenges, allied healthcare students need receive comprehensive global health training, with opportunities to develop critical skills and knowledge in a variety of medical fields. Many students are encouraged to participate in an elective module or to complete a piece of research in their chosen field. By partnering with TEN you are not just joining a network of other service providers but a worldwide network of engaged and motivated students. These students can offer opportunities for allied research in your institution, as well as benefiting directly from your knowledge and expertise. These elective placements can often be the starting point for lifelong networks which develop as they graduate.
When these medical professionals continue training beyond the undergraduate level, opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge in global health become significantly more varied and difficult to obtain. One of the key barriers to collaborative research and undertaking placement outside of one's home institution, is the difficulty of sharing information about opportunities available to those interested. As a result, generations of medical professionals are deterred from seeking active engagement with global health placements and experience-based learning opportunities. Such professionals are an important answer to developing and improving health systems in high income and low/middle income countries. Not only do they offer their own skills and experience to their host institution but they offer further opportunities for network building across continents.
As a Global Health educational resource we are committed to ensuring that we promote ethical and sustainable Global Health volunteering opportunities.
Electives are still considered to be an essential part of the medical curriculum in many countries, and whilst there are clearly many benefits to these cross-cultural clinical experiences, in recent years attention has been paid to the potential lack of mutual benefits. It is important that your institution is able to support and supervise students properly, but it is also important that your institution gains direct or indirect benefits from hosting.
There are no easy answers to creating ethical opportunities, however it is possible to ensure that students are aware of the impact they may be having in your institution.
Whether you are based in a low income or high income setting, the preparation a student is asked to do before attending your location can be really influential in helping them understand the complex relationships and realities during an international elective. It is implicit in our health partnerships to ensure that they are bilaterally respectful and we encourage all our partners to take the lead in establishing similar considerations when dealing with students.
Many students are used to a clear supervision structures, rules, and organised responses to any incidents. We believe it is important from the outset for all prospective partners, who are considering hosting students, that they establish clearly outlined support systems and structures within your organisation prior to the students arrival.
Working internationally or traveling to a new culture can sometimes impact on students' mental health and as such it can be important to establish a support network for the student as well as a supervisory system.
Health and safety and operational guidelines may vary from institution to institution so it can be helpful to review these in advance with any students you host.
Finally, working in healthcare can involve work with vulnerable individuals and as such safeguarding and no harm principles should be observed both by you as the institution and any student you host.
Setting competency goals or clearly defined learning objectives over the course of a placement can significantly improve the outcomes of electives and ensure a more structured experience for students. Whilst students may not be qualified for all clinical aspects of work you are engaged with, they are often highly capable individuals who are able to support wider endeavours such as project management and quality improvement schemes. For example, some students repay the supervision time they require by focusing on a fundraising project or looking at communications based projects or research. We advise institutions do a needs assessment within the facility prior to hosting, to create avenues of useful work that students can engage with whilst being hosted.
Hosting a student can be a valuable and rewarding activity for your institution. Students can bring an enthusiasm and work ethic that is helpful in any setting. However, inviting students as a one off can require time and resources that your institution may not be able to commit to.
Therefore we advocate that all placements should be approached by students with a view to creating new learning networks between the students home institution and their host institution.
This learning network could take many forms including mentoring by both parties to develop new skills and learning opportunities; remote support utilising technology to bridge the geographical gaps and create virtual learning; and the creation of clinical networks.
We encourage hosts to arrange a follow up virtual review of the students experience on their return to their home institution. This continued contact can provide opportunities for improvements to be made in the placement but also in terms of the student acting on belief of the institution to build ongoing and new networks.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of becoming a partner, fill out the form below to start the process.