Thursday, May 26, 2016

5 Tips for Educating a Mobile Hospice Workforce

It’s a given in hospice that the vast majority of hospice staff members spend the better part of their day caring for patients in their home. This inherently presents challenges when it comes time to educate and train. Let’s face it, the pace at which we work has accelerated dramatically in the last few years, we need to be nimble than ever when responding to patients, their families, and each other. This leaves little time left-over to devote to education and training. Below are some tips for making the most efficient use of staff members’ valuable time.

1. Make use of Interdisciplinary Team meeting
This is an ideal time to present information that impacts the entire team, such as Medicare or organization specific updates. This method is best for delivering information that warrants a discussion or if you want to provide an opportunity for your staff to ask questions. Additionally, before or after the meeting is great time to deliver discipline specific education.

2. Online learning
Online learning is an efficient and cost-effective way to deliver education to the masses. It is appealing for staff members and educators alike, as education can be delivered ad-hoc as needed. This allows flexibility for staff members to choose when they want to learn. They don’t have to be in a specific place at a specific time – which can be a challenge when providing patient care. Modules can be all encompassing or discipline-specific. As you develop online modules, be sure to include interactivity to help improve retention as Erika Tedesco shares in NHPCO’s NewsLine. She indicates that the more mouse clicks an activity requires, the better the information will be retained.

3. Webinars
Have you ever tried to disseminate one unified message to multiple groups of people at different times? If so, you know how challenging it can be when one group hears the message before another. Soon your message is out there and you are not in control of it any-longer. Webinars are a great way to deliver real-time information to large groups of people simultaneously. Everyone hears the same message at the same time; and attendees benefit from hearing ALL the questions that are asked.

4. Videos
Videos can also be an effective way to deliver education that needs to be demonstrated. For example, this video from Life and Death Matters is a role-play of how to have a conversation with a patient's family about managing pain and the different types of pain.  Role-plays are an excellent method of teaching new team members how to have some of the more difficult conversations with patients and families.

5. Weekly Email
If you have information or updates that need to be communicated regularly from different groups within your agency: IS, Pharmacy, Education/Quality, DME, and Volunteers; consider a weekly email blast that is sent at the same time from the same email box every week. This helps staff come to expect when they will receive updates rather than getting blasted throughout the week with multiple emails.

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