To maintain high-quality clinical standards, staff need access to in-house training, designed primarily to enhance care skills and underpin knowledge.
Everyone needs to undertake a comprehensive induction and personal development programme. Unqualified staff should be given early access to appropriate NVQ courses in order to enhance their practical nursing skills.
Ward managers must encourage and facilitate a positive learning culture at ward level.
However, the onus must remain on staff to take up places available on advertised courses that are relevant to them.
Attending national conferences is another way of gaining an insight into the current thinking in nursing. Listening to eminent speakers can often inspire nurses to return to their workplace and share newly acquired information with their colleagues.
I believe that personal learning and development should be a life-long experience. Managers and staff must be encouraged to read and, in some cases, write for professional journals such as NT as an integral part of their journey.
Training opportunities are available and employees who fail to accept what is on offer will see their standards of care reduce.
To end on a positive note, people who accept the invitation to attend courses usually benefit professionally in some way.
Managers and staff must continue to share best clinical practice. As a direct result of appropriate training, care and services on the wards will, in my view, be enhanced to a point where staff exceed patients’ and their families’ expectations.
Adrian Ashurst is training manager for Cambian Healthcare
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