Clinical education and training for nurses and other hospital staff can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. In the past 15 years, educational requirements set out by The Joint Commission (TJC), and more recently Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), have added to the requirements hospitals have in providing education and training to staff.
The Joint Commission's Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals (CAMH) contains everything your hospital needs for continuous compliance. In addition to clinical training, CAMH also requires job descriptions, background checks (if required by law), primary source verification of licensure, orientation, competence assessments, and performance evaluations.
When developing a training program for staff, hospitals must make sure programs improve clinical practice and keep employees updated on changes that occur in the healthcare, technology, and clinical practice.
Tips to engage staff
Your health system might offer thousands of training courses each year — both mandatory (such as those for compliance, privacy, clinical skill development, etc.) and optional, by role. Examples of optional trainings include continuing education and leadership development opportunities.
Because training is only one aspect of a nurse's job, it's important to make sessions as convenient and efficient as possible. Here are 8 pointers that will enhance the learning experience for both facilities and staff members.
- Embrace online training modules. Develop an online training center where nurses and other staff can log in read and/or watch training modules and answer quizzes.
- Create an engaging theme. Center your training week around a theme. It could be a Mexican Fiesta, Hawaiian Luau, or Pizza Party, for example. Offer a prize as incentive to have all staff complete training. The first department to have 100% participation and successful completion of their post- tests will win something, such as a catered dinner.
- Create training programs for different learning styles. Training programs should include material that appeals to various learning styles: verbal, visual, hands-on. Use a variety of different teaching methods. Training programs also need to reflect the multilingual employee population present in many hospitals today. Ensure all of your different employees in their different roles — from the housekeeper all the way to the CEO — can comprehend the information.
- Make programs interactive. Group work, quizzes, and other activities can help make training programs less lecture-based and more interactive. This not only helps employees retain information, but also makes the training more enjoyable for them.
- Personalize information so it's specific to your hospital. If using a third-party module, select one that allows for some personalization. Choose a training module that allows you to add your own documents, policies, and procedures.
- Ensure that training reflects changing skills. Hospital training programs have always covered issues such as compliance and clinical competency, but increasingly hospitals are developing programs around newly sought-after skills, such as customer service and patient-centered care.
- Consider employee demands beyond training. Employees at hospitals have multiple responsibilities, and training should be designed so that it can be completed without taking away from those responsibilities. Not everyone is at a desk, so training times should be flexible to shift schedules.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. You should always assess the effectiveness of training programs through surveys and testing of skills. A training program that doesn't effectively improve staff competencies and patient outcomes is a waste of health system resources and employees' time.
How does your facility approach mandatory staff training? Can you employ any of the tips suggested above?
For additional educational resources on mandatory training, check out Lippincott Professional Development Collection. Our leading clinical education and competency validation software for institutions features over 370 online courses, including a robust program set of 28 courses dedicated to Hospital Mandatory education. Check out a free course preview HERE.