Community services

Timor-Leste nursing

A team of highly experienced expatriate and Timorese nurses and midwives is based in Timor-Leste as part of our Nursing and Midwifery Development Program. 

Our aim is to improve standards in nursing and midwifery care to deliver better quality healthcare for the people of Timor-Leste.

Caregivers from St John of God Social Outreach’s international health team in Timor-Leste are tasked with developing the capacity of local nursing, midwifery and healthcare staff at the national teaching hospital in Dili - the Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares - as well as some of Timor’s more remote municipal hospitals and other key Timorese institutions.

Clinically, our caregivers work alongside their Timorese colleagues in some of the hospital’s most high-acuity wards to provide role modelling and mentoring to help build knowledge, skills and capability.

We also work with the hospital’s executive team to provide the human resources and governance support necessary for the delivery of effective and sustainable nursing practices.

The program

Our nurses help to educate, train and up-skill their Timorese colleagues by working side-by-side with them on the hospital wards to provide role modeling and mentoring.

We also deliver training packages that cover essential skills such as wound management, patient assessment and basic life support. This training is supported by nurses from our Australian hospitals who travel to Timor-Leste on secondment.

Our caregivers deliver these packages to a group of Timorese nurse educators and then support them to cascade the training throughout the hospital. This empowers the nurse educators and gives Timorese nurses the opportunity to learn directly from their colleagues.  

Our Nursing Development Program team caregivers live and work in Timor-Leste for a minimum of two years.

Improving hospital standards

Through the Nursing Development Program, we have partnered with Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Health to introduce an auditing system that benchmarks the national hospital’s performance against five internationally recognised critical areas. These are:

  • clinical governance and leadership
  • ethics and patient rights
  • quality management and improvement
  • patient safety
  • facilities and environment.

Our team supports the national hospital executive to introduce the policies and procedures that are needed to improve performance against these areas.

We have also helped to improve the professional and physical environments to better support good nursing practices and improve patient experience.

Education and training 

We work with local nurse/midwife educators to deliver a Core Competency Program (CCP) designed to ensure all nurses/midwives practising within the hospital achieve a safe level of practice. The CCP, planned to be extended to the districts in the future, is delivered over several years and includes:

  • Professional practice
  • Infection control
  • Patient assessment
  • Medication safety
  • Life support

In 2018, a Nurse/Midwife Educator Program (NMEP) was piloted at HNGV, focussed on upskilling and enhancing the existing education and training skills of the local nurse/midwife educators. The program includes training in learning principles, evaluation, change management and communication.