Nurse managers are constantly innovating. Whatever the situation that arises, savvy nurse managers invent ways around, through and over it. Healthcare is an evolving field that is making strides as the world around it changes. New things are frequently brought forward in practice standards whether it’s our methods of care or how we educate our workforce. Sure, there are still those that utilize a “spray and pray” classroom — but we know this doesn’t reap the results we seek. It’s important for us to branch out and try new things and Straightaway is committed to helping healthcare organizations do just that. This is the first in a series of blogs that will examine innovation in learning. Each blog will address learning innovations that we’ve run across lately, as well as up-and-coming learning methods that we think will be revolutionary.
CNA School for Executives — say what?!
Yep, you read that right. Training executive staff to be CNA-certified is a long-time coming. Signature HealthCARE is innovating their leadership development by having all executive leaders go through CNA school as part of their on boarding and first-year experience. Yes, all 80 hours. Yes, training includes everything from taking a resident’s vital to engaging with residents on a personal level.
Senior managers go through the training to promote understanding and empathy for the challenges faced by front-line workers in the company’s homes, while strengthening the connection between the home office and staff members in the field.
Signature felt that if executives better understood the scope of practice of the long-term care nursing assistant and their responsibilities for bedside care, this would ultimately impact total quality of care in addition to retention and self-satisfaction for their nursing assistants What better way to improve communication with front-line staff than by walking a mile in their shoes?
Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, targeted bursts. Those one-hour courses? Not so much. Most folks don’t feel they have the time and subsequently, student retention is poor. If we provide learners with the key elements they need to understand in a reasonable amount of time, they are much more likely to retain what we put in front of them (as well as remain in class).
Think about the typical audience here. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. Millennials, like the rest of us, have shrinking attention spans, thanks to our many advances in — and dependencies on — technology. Technology has a major influence on the way we learn, even while on the job. This is why methods like microlearning are so important. Here are a few tips to implement a microlearning strategy in your workforce training:
- Assign One Learning Objective Per Asset
- This way, the learner will know exactly what they need to focus on to ensure knowledge is absorbed. The more objectives you try to introduce, the longer your content will be and the more difficulty learners will have to stay engaged
- Production Quality Matters
- Video is the much-preferred learning methodology. Advances in technology make producing video content both cost-effective and easy. Bad video quality can take away from good content so be sure to use these tips: use natural light from a window, shoot in a quiet room and set up your camera slightly above eye level. Turn off any fluorescent lights — you’d be surprised at how much noise they put out that a good microphone can pick up
- Timing is Everything
- Microlearning videos should be 4 minutes or less. Learners want to get straight to the point. When creating scripts for video, a good rule of thumb to follow is 120 words for every minute of video
- Prove Learning Took Place
- When you build your content, think about how you will know learning took place. Instead of just asking them to answer a couple multiple choice questions, ask them to demonstrate their knowledge in real life, in front of you. Then sign them off as proficient. Microlearning works great with skill builders.
Now you may be thinking, “we can’t do compliance like that!”
Compliance training may not necessarily lend itself to this modality — not yet, anyway — but think about all the other types of training that learners need. We certainly have a compliance need to fill but it’s not the only thing we teach and it’s best taught as a supplement to well-understood care-based knowledge. If we can more effectively teach our workforce the core elements of their jobs, compliance education will theoretically come much more naturally.
Corporate communication is another area that microlearning could serve well, besides general job training. Updates on how an initiative is going, maintaining workforce motivation and engagement, understanding company changes or changes in leadership — these are all ways that a microlearning method could best be implemented. These are also fairly easy to introduce to your workforce and a good gauge if this type of learning will be effective for your organization.
Dip a toe into microlearning — do some research, record a module — even if it’s a minor policy change announcement. You might be surprised at how well it’s received and how the information seems to be retained.
Straightaway on Innovation
We at Straightaway are incorporating many of these innovations in our nurse manager curriculum (as part of SUPPORT). Context, storytelling, empathy and microlearning are just a few techniques you’ll find in our work. Keep your eyes peeled for the next learning innovations blog where we will break down these techniques and help you leverage them.