William: becoming an effective caregiver

Since 2009, William Maganga has been working in the Saint Cornelius Mental Health Center in Kasaka, Kigoma, Tanzania, one of the 5 regional hospital involved in the Fracarita project we are supporting. He started his professional life as a general nurse, and worked later on for several years as a psychiatric nurse in the mental health department of the hospital in Dodoma. He is an energetic and enthusiastic nurse who likes to pass his knowledge and experience to his younger colleagues.

In 2014, he was nominated as a coach. In his new role, he receives intensive training on specific mental health topics and on coaching techniques. Through on the job training, he passes this acquired technical knowledge to other nurses and staff in order to improve workplace attitudes. Although he already had several years of experience, the coaching program taught him new material and a different way to approach his work. William pointed out that, “providing quality mental health care to the patients should never be a routine. I understood that personal contact with patients and a tailor made approach is important. We as coaches got insight into the fact that knowledge, skills, and attitude are all part of being a good care provider. I now try to educate my colleagues on these findings.”

The coach training is given during regional seminars which allows for the exchange of ideas between coaches, psychiatric nurses and national and international experts on mental health. William is convinced that this approach has already improved the quality of the care the Center provides in Kasaka.

Effective caregiving requires a positive attitude, skills, and a desire to learn.