Objective: To explore the feasibility of competency-based training of Zambian nurse-midwives in postplacental and postpartum intrauterine device (PPIUD) insertion and to estimate learning curves for this procedure.
Methods: A pilot service-delivery project was conducted, involving 9 nurse-midwives who participated in a 10-day PPIUD insertion training course at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. US and Zambian clinicians taught the didactic and practical curriculum. Checklists were used for standardization and a pelvic model was developed to achieve PPIUD insertion competency in the classroom before moving to clinical practice. Patients were recruited during prenatal visits, in early labor, and postpartum. Informed, voluntary consent was obtained. All clinical PPIUD insertions were supervised or performed by experienced trainers.
Results: All 9 nurse-midwives achieved competency on the pelvic model after 3 attempts. During the training period, 38 PPIUDs were inserted in postpartum women; no complications occurred. By the end of training, 4 of the nurse-midwives were deemed competent to independently insert PPIUDs. On average, 4 PPIUD insertions were needed to achieve clinical competency.
Conclusions: Concentrated, competency-based training in PPIUD insertion is feasible in an African setting. Replication of such training could increase the popularity and prevalence of PPIUD use among African women.