3 Steps to Better Healthcare Training
It is no mystery that the healthcare industry is complex, everchanging, and operates with incredibly high stakes. At times, it may seem the number of challenges healthcare organizations face is too numerous to count. Consider some of these challenge areas—keeping in mind there are many more:
- Managing rising costs
- Complying with regulatory requirements
- Keeping up with advancements in medicine and technology
- Managing ethics
- Controlling infectious diseases within medical facilities
- Adhering to HIPAA despite security challenges associated with mobile devices and social media
- Addressing work overload and staff burnout
- Providing enough mentoring opportunities
- Reserving adequate time for patients
- Mitigating cybersecurity breaches
- Realistic scenarios that illustrate cause and effect
- Practice opportunities in safe, risk-free environments
- Personalized observation and feedback
- Continued coaching and mentoring
- Start off with a hook: At the beginning of any learning asset, try to grab learner attention, share why the content is relevant, boost learners’ confidence level to master the competency, and/or explain why learners will get satisfaction out of completing this learning asset. This strategy is based on Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation. Think of it as the “hook” that helps tune your learners in, or a tasty appetizer that whets the palette for more learning.
- Clearly illustrate cause and effect via realistic scenarios: For each competency, emphasize the “why” behind what you are asking your healthcare workers to do. For instance, if the training is about HIPAA, share a quick story about that time a health worker shared a photo of her engagement ring on social media but didn’t realize a patient could be seen in the background of the photo. What was the impact to that patient? What consequence did the health worker experience? Don’t forget to share the part of the story that illustrates impact and consequences. If learners can visualize what the training concepts look like in real life, they will be both better prepared and more motivated to implement it in their jobs.
- Build interactions that simulate realistic situations and environments: It is not enough to know about skills and information; healthcare workers need ample opportunities to practice it and receive feedback in risk-free environments that closely mirror reality. Build constructive feedback into these interactions; learners cannot course correct if they don’t realize anything is wrong. Make the feedback meaningful. Instead of simply saying, “That is incorrect. The correct answer is…” explain the reasons why. Remember, if learners make an error in training that isn’t rectified, they are likely to make the same mistakes at work.