Back in April, I enrolled in the Health Librarianship Essentials course, developed by the QUT Information Studies Group and Health Libraries Australia. The timing for this was ideal, as I’d just started my new job in the medical library at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, so I was keen to learn more about the specific skills and knowledge that health librarians need to have. Tonight was the last class, and I found it a very useful course to have been part of.
The content was broken up into three modules: the Australian healthcare environment, health information sources and how to search them, and evidence based healthcare. As discussed by Steven Chang and Nikki May in their post on the NLS7 blog, a lot of the work of health librarians is focused on those last two areas. Even though I’d spent many years working in a university library showing students how to search databases, I still found it useful to be introduced to some health-specific resources which I’d never used before. I also learnt some new ways of searching some of the databases which I was already familiar with. The module on evidence based practice was a good refresher for me, especially now that I’m in a role which directly supports clinical staff who are using this approach to their practice. I’d also forgotten how useful it can be for librarians working on a research project 🙂
I would certainly recommend this course to any new medical librarians or academic librarians who support medical, nursing or other health science staff and students. It gives a good introduction to the essentials of working in this field. Keep an eye out to see if there are any future offerings. Now, I’m off to work on that last assignment!