Since 2013, Sunshine Foundation has been working closely with a local organization in Chennai, India to help set up a Recovery and Care Center for women burn survivors. Through training for staff in Chennai or internships in Taiwan, Sunshine aims to build the capacity of burn professionals so that this local organization can address an unmet need: providing comprehensive physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for women burn survivors after hospital discharge.
In September 2019, Sunshine Foundation had the immense pleasure of welcoming Prathiba, Physiotherapist of the Chennai-based International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), for a one-month burn rehabilitation training in Taiwan.
Prathiba is PCVC's only therapist and she is in charge of evaluating clients that come to the Recovery and Care Center, as well as developing individualized physical rehabilitation plans for them. Unfortunately, ongoing training in burn rehabilitation is practically inexistent in her area. In order to address her need for strengthening knowledge and skills, Sunshine planned a two-part training consisting of online courses and externship at Sunshine's Rehabilitation Center in Taipei.
First, prior to her visit to Taiwan, Prathiba completed 196 hours of online courses using Sunshine's E-Learning platform. Topics ranged from understanding skin structure, to learning about skin grafting, understanding the development of burn scars and principles for basic interventions like positioning and scar management. The goal of the online program was to establish a good foundation about basic burn rehabilitation knowledge. It was Prathiba's first time learning online and about the experience, she said: "I had a great experience. It helped improved my knowledge. With online courses, I can study at my convenience and it's easier to access at work and home as well."
Prathiba's one-month training in Taiwan focused on enhancing clinical competencies, including carrying out a thorough evaluation to identify problems and their cause, as well as setting measurable treatment goals and developing a targeted treatment plan. About what she learned, Prathiba says: "This learning is very useful, I learnt how to break down each goal into short and long term, which will bring better results and will give clients a sense of achievement. I was overwhelmed by the knowledge of the clinical staff. Their mentoring helped me to learn more and improve on my technical skills." About going back to Chennai and putting into practice what she learned, Prathiba says: "I feel very confident now that I understand burns at its various stages. I will be able to manage burn scars with a good approach."