Building an award-winning healthcare training program is the most important step that you can take to ensure that your healthcare workers are prepared to provide patients with the highest quality of care. Regardless of whether you are training home care nurses, patient care assistants, or a team of physician assistants, you need to ensure that training courses are meaningful. Below is a look at the critical role of healthcare training and 8 steps to make your healthcare training courses more impactful.
What Types of Employees Require Healthcare Training?
The healthcare field is full of different types of workers who come into contact with patients and medical equipment. While every healthcare worker should be thoroughly trained, the amount of training that a healthcare worker should receive typically increases as the employee’s level of patient responsibility increases. Examples of employees who require healthcare training include:
- Medical doctors
- Nursing professionals (Nurse practitioners, RNs, LPNs, CNAs)
- Laboratory personnel such as phlebotomists
- Biomedical technicians and equipment maintenance personnel
- Home healthcare nurses and aides
- Medical assistants and support staff
- Security personnel for hospitals, surgery centers, and medical offices
- Medical social workers
- Healthcare administrators and executive staff
Why Is Healthcare Training So Critical?
There are many reasons why training plays a vital role in the healthcare field. First and foremost, patients and their families depend upon healthcare professionals to make life-saving decisions under pressure. Second, healthcare providers may come into contact with hundreds of patients every day, making contamination control essential for a healthful work environment. And third, compliance with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations is required for most healthcare-related businesses. In addition to these reasons, healthcare training prepares workers to deliver the highest quality of patient care as safely as possible.
8 Steps to Making Your Healthcare Training More Impactful
With compliance, safety, and patient care at stake, healthcare administrators must make sure that employees are fully engaged in training activities. Below are eight steps to creating a more engaging and impactful training initiative.
1) Ensure that your training program is mobile-friendly. The face of employee training has completely transformed since the turn of the century. In contrast to the traditional classroom training speeches of yesterday, today’s employees can train online at their own pace using their tablet or other mobile device of choice. Some of the potential benefits for healthcare workers include:
- Employees can train at their own pace
- Training can occur at any location
- A shorter learning curve
- Increased employee satisfaction
2) Train healthcare workers to maintain confidential patient information immediately. Teaching employees to care for patients while protecting their privacy is not only important, it is required by law. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires healthcare employers to train employees to handle confidential patient information. HIPAA requires this training to take place before a preset compliance date. A breach of the HIPAA Privacy Rule or failure to provide training could result in fines or even imprisonment.
3) Bolster employee training participation with video-based learning. Video-based learning is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to traditional classroom-based training. Here are a few of the many advantages of video-based learning:
- Employees do not need to travel to a central location to receive training
- Video-based learning is popular with millennials
- Employees can train at different times, minimizing shift work disruption
- Video segments can be replayed to facilitate learning of challenging material
4) Respond to trainees’ questions quickly by incorporating live chat. One of the differences between traditional classroom training and online training is the absence of a live lecturer during online training. This can pose challenges for participants who have questions about training content. The solution to this challenge is to incorporate live chat into your online training initiatives. This feature will enable participants to receive prompt feedback to their questions and concerns.
5) Employ hands-on training when teaching skills such as CPR. While healthcare workers can complete a large portion of their training online, there are certain skills that are best learned through a combination of online training and hands-on classroom training. Below are a few examples:
- Mastering CPR and other life saving techniques
- Learning how to safely draw blood
- Practicing safe use of restraints on patients
6) Devote extra attention to making safety and compliance training interesting. All healthcare employees need to understand and comply with regulations established by HIPAA and OSHA. Unfortunately, compliance training is often dreaded by healthcare employees because they view the subject matter as dry or boring. You can use these strategies to help spice up your safety and compliance training:
- Use scenarios with real employees to bring safety issues to life
- Use online quizzes and challenges to measure retention of information
- Offer small prizes to employees who excel at compliance training
7) Supplement your training program with robust self-study materials. Self-study is a great way to complement online and hands-on training. In addition to boosting long-term retention of healthcare concepts, self-study materials can help healthcare workers prepare for healthcare certifications and career advancement.
8) Emphasize the need for ongoing healthcare training. Healthcare training should not occur in a vacuum; workers should constantly strive to remain up to date on the latest trends and procedures. Employees should receive training on a continual basis, especially with the introduction of the following:
- New or revised healthcare laws and regulations
- New surgical procedure or treatments
- New medical records software
- New or updated medical equipment and devices
Your Key Ingredient for an Impactful Healthcare Training Program
As you craft your healthcare training initiatives, it is wise to enlist the input of an industry expert. The training champions with Knowledge Anywhere are committed to ensuring that healthcare workers are prepared to meet the challenges of a demanding patient care environment. For nearly 20 years, Knowledge Anywhere has been making eLearning for healthcare enjoyable and educational for workers in the healthcare industry. Contact us today to learn how we can help you design an impactful healthcare training program!
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