:: Selection, Training and Continuing education

The recruitment of health mediators is carried out entirely by the employer organization which remains responsible for the project. Program coordination can be used to provide templates or on opinion on candidates.

The basic training (five days) of health mediators aims to enable them to:

  • Understand the organization of the health system, the provision of care and the network for health promotion. The health mediator must identify the entitlements users could beneficiate from. He/she should also be able to identify the institutional and associative networks to be mobilized at the local level according to the situation of the people.
  • Be able to inform, guide people and communicate with caregivers based on basic public health knowledge (maternal and child health, prevention, health education, stakes of precariousness, environmental health: place of life, professional activities, drug use, etc.)
  • Understand keys sociological and ethnological concepts related to the target audience to decipher situations. This knowledge allows the mediator to take into account the person as a whole and to put into perspective different factors impacting the health of the person
  • Rely on a solid mediation position, consistent with the principle of social mediation,
  • Have good communication skills with the targeted public, to conduct mediation and to manage crisis situations, but also establishing relation with institutions, to write letters, identify resource persons, present their actions and formulate intentions.

Continuing education: 

Further training is offered to mediators throughout the year. The themes correspond to the needs identified and the requests of the mediators. Over the past four years, the following themes have been taught:

  • Health education in health mediation
  • Prevention of lead poisoning
  • Prevention of violence against women
  • Prevention of addictions
  • First aid
  • Community approach to Health

In addition, the national coordination of the program organizes national meetings of mediators five times a year. These include:

  • Time for exchange of practices: facilitated by the coordination of the PNMS (Program National de Mediation Sanitaire - National Health Mediation Program), they allow mediators to analyze and exchange their practices with peers working in a similar context and audiences. Bringing together the mediators of the program who work in different territories, these meetings help to federate around a common framework of reference, to “decompartmentalize” their practices and to conduct a collective reflection on their positioning and solutions to problematic situations. Regular meetings help to break the feeling of isolation felt by mediators. This is explained by a strong demand from the public for whom the mediator is usually the privileged interlocutor or even the only one, but also because of the difficulty of acting as an intermediary between health professionals and a very isolated public.
  • Time for analysis of the practice animated by a psychologist.

The analysis always starts from the real situations encountered in practice. The case-study approach allows to highlight the different dimensions of the work and its emotional resonances.

This section aims more specifically at:

- analyze together, between peers practicing the same professional activity, the conditions and working methods

- compare situations and practices to identify commonalities and differences

- encourage the transfer of experience and the integration of newly recruited mediators

- exploring alternative practices likely to remove obstacles encountered

- collectively construct the profession, i.e. rules, principles, guidelines for professional practice

- reduce the sense of isolation and loneliness in fieldwork

  • Working time on prevention tools

In order to develop the autonomy of accompanied persons, tools are developed by health actors in collaboration with mediators, with the aim of, for example, enabling the target public to learn more about the French healthcare system, to have access to it and the location of the structures to be addressed.

The mediators also participate in the construction of health prevention tools on different topics: tuberculosis and pregnancy monitoring, sexual and reproductive health.

A working group meets twice a year with the mediators of the program as well as representatives of the Inpes (Santé Publique France - Public Health France) in order to share health education materials, create and adapt prevention and support materials to an allophone and/or illiterate public or to a different territory. The mediators also participate in the testing of tools developed by Inpes to improve their accessibility.

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