Epistemic communities and the challenges of training health technicians during the COVID-19 pandemic

Batistella et al.

This article discusses the role of the epistemic community linked to the training of health technicians through analysis of the actions initiated by the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center for the education of these technicians during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of comparing these actions with the main elements that define the constitution and functioning of epistemic communities according to the specialized literature. It is argued that, despite the differences in the historical configuration of national healthcare and training systems, the emergence of common challenges in the training of technicians allowed the articulation of demands, the sharing of diagnostic assessments, and the cooperation between the International Network of Health Technicians Education, the Ibero-American Network of Health Technicians Education, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries Network of Health Technician Schools, promoting the exchange of experiences, the search for strategic solutions, and the dissemination of recommendations across countries. By reaffirming the central role of health technicians in epidemiological surveillance, diagnosis and assistance, the COVID health emergency demanded immediate and consistent responses from governments and educational institutions, favoring the strengthening of the health technician epistemic community through the circulation of discourses and the hegemonization of meanings for the education of technicians. These actions, however, do not translate into stability or homogeneity for the epistemic community, since their articulation is always provisional and contingent, nor do they ensure the capacity to directly influence policies in each country.

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