An educational commitment respecting cultural pluralism – leanings from the North African chapter

Ms Louise Woods1

1Shell Health/Aspen Medical LNG Curtis Island


Tasked by a British company for an international commitment on location in a tribal community in the Eastern province of Libya denotes findings that relate to experiences in 2011 such as:

  1. The political and geographically isolated region challenged conventional clinical expectations honed our sharpened teaching methods in turbulent times.
  2. Meeting the challenge to up-skill local non-certified nursing staff by utilizing a structured, daily schedule of basic lectures
  3. Initial priorities were identified as paediatric, adult, midwifery, emergency departments and renal specialties
  4. The Advanced Life Support training practical and theory tests completed, and learners certified by UK standards.
  5. Due to language barriers and cultural differences, lectures necessitated interpreters on site. Four keen college students translated script whilst requiring medical terminology as we progressed.

Recounting events in this vivid time-capsule depicts similarities to any community in remote surroundings:

  • the wanting embrace of keen learners, courageously overcoming adversity.
  • experienced clinicians with the capacity to educate, independent of location and language barriers.
  • not dissimilar to Australia’s remote and unique communities, they too experienced challenges to obtain healthy outcomes for their elderly, children, the injured or those with poor mobility and those burdened with chronic illness.
  • unrestricted, culturally safe, high quality professional leadership to guide and support their adjustments with morally sound, professional guidance.

As such, I believe that all experienced clinicians are educators by default, positioned favorably to engender opportunities that keen learners could benefit from.

It was in North Africa where I learned never to underestimate the incredible educational influence that highly motivated and skilled clinicians possess.


A nursing qualification started a journey from South Africa which gained momentum as I furthered my career, launching a trajectory of explorations across 10 countries. Leanings gained by my broad global exposure embedded the desire to share what I have learned

  • Master of Pub Health JCU, Cert IV Training&Educ
  • US-RN Licensed as Prof Nurse – NYSB
  •  Reg Nurse,  Midwife (S-Africa), Cert Occ Health-Stellenbosch University (S-Africa)
  • Cert Aviation Nursing, Institute for Aviation Medicine (S-Africa)
  • PG Dipl Remote&Offshore Medicine – Edinburgh Uni (UK)
  • NEBOSH Int Gen Certificate Health&Safety (UK)
  • PG Dipl Health Informatics – Otago University (NZ)
  • Certificate- Rehab&Return to Work Coordinator