Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve knowledge and skills in taking Pap smear conducted by health staff implementing the program on Early Detection of Cervical Cancer. Methods: A quasiexperimental, longitudinal and prospective study, held from October 25 2010 to April 11, 2011 at a hospital in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. To select groups applied a non-probabilistic convenience sampling that was composed of 28 people, 15 for the study group and 13 to the control group. The study group received training that was divided into three phases in which assessed the knowledge and skills taking the smear, the control group received conventional training offered by your workplace. Papanicolaou quality was measured before and after the intervention. The reference used international classification system Bethesda 2001. For data analysis we used the Student t test. Results: The study group increased knowledge (t = 8.768, p = 0.000) in the management of official standards, in the anatomy of the lower female genital tract and in the form of testing. Technical skills (t = 8.639, p = 0.000) also increased in the study group after the intervention. The control group showed no significant changes. The quality report of the samples in the study group increased from 60% to 86.7% and in the control group decreased from 92.3% to 84.6%. Conclusions: The training is effective in improving the knowledge and skills in taking Pap. Health staff who received the training improved their performance and showed more interest in providing high quality service to women.
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