Series on Building Confidence – One step at a time

Confidence is always touted as one of the most important factors to succeed in any profession. A little bit of confidence can open up huge avenues and make you do things you didn’t even think you were capable of.

As part of Henny’s training in her new job, she was invited to take part in a training module on the early detection of eye disorders among children. Initially, she lacked confidence as she had never sat together with doctors and eye health experts before. She also felt she did not have experience outside of her daily duties as a nurse. However, she later attended a meeting of the module organizers where she gave input about how the module could be improved and her ideas were accepted, which pleased her.

Following an internship on a pediatric ward, she was invited to help develop a module on how to train others to screen children’s eyes. The development team consisted of ophthalmologists, refractionists, opticians/optometrists, nurses and trainers from the provincial, city and regency departments of health, and was supported by child eye health specialists.

After several meetings, the team of ‘master trainers’ had to present the modules that they had developed. She had never expected to take the role of a master trainer. However, with encouragement from other members of the team, Henny presented a session to the others, who gave her feedback on how to improve her presentation skills. Although she only had five people attending her first training session for other trainers, she felt very nervous. Over time, however, her confidence has grown. She has found that her experience – as an eye nurse who deals with children every day – strengthens her teaching, as it provides her with many practical examples of eye disorders she can share.

When she was asked if there were major changes in herself after becoming a trainer of trainers, Henny said: “The first time I delivered a training session, I prayed that none of the participants would ask questions. But now, it is me who prompts, ‘Is there anything you want to ask?’.” Her dealings with patients have also changed. “Now, my delivery and tone of voice are a bit different. I am more patient and more detailed when explaining something,” she said.

Henny has gained a lot by working at the eye health clinic for children. In addition to increasing her knowledge and making friends, she also gained the trust of her supervisor and colleagues in dealing with patients, particularly children. “If the intention is good, everything will go well, the main point is that I am happy working with children and collaborating with HKI,” she says.