In his book Do No Harm retired neurosurgeon Henry Marsh described the irritation of taking time away from his work to sit though mandatory training.
He wrote: “The seminar was scheduled to last three hours and I settled down to get some sleep”.
While I would be remiss to argue that mandatory training is not essential, I wondered how many of you dread the annual get together to go over fire procedures, resus and safeguarding? I did a quick straw poll of nurses to find out if their experiences matched those of Henry Marsh.
One nurse told me that during her update the fire officers apologised in advance as he had borrowed a power point he hadn’t looked at. Another described it as a tick box exercise where staff were lectured to but there was little time for discussion or questions.
A senior clinical nurse specialist recalled being told off because she was responding to an urgent email during a resus update and her colleague said several doctors appeared to be asleep at the back of the room.
The overwhelming impression is that mandatory training is delivered to people who do not have time to be there in a way that does not engage or encourage participation.
My straw poll of experiences of mandatory training may be selective and I apologise in advance to anyone who has devised a more imaginative and interactive ways of updating staff on the essentials. I know some organisations have now adopted e-learning to deliver updates and perhaps this needs to be the way forward. This could include some element of assessment so that staff would have to engage. There is no doubt that staff need to be updated but it has to be more than a tick box exercise. For one, surely we need to assess whether staff have understood the information delivered and assess learning needs?
Please tell us about your experiences. What works well? How can mandatory training be made more relevant and engaging?