Employee Training – Fact or Fiction


Healthcare providers all have a responsibility to properly train clinicians and other healthcare workers for their respective positions. However, how often  is this training being fully implemented? More often than not, the answer is rarely.

It is difficult for healthcare administrators to ensure compliance when there are hundreds of regulations that govern the competence and training of employees. This is especially true in larger facilities such as hospitals and long term facilities where aspects of the training process can be easily lost. It is easier to just check off staff for competency rather than demand and track training. Thus, employees are left improperly trained and negate the policies their employers set forth.

And there are of course the effects that come with insufficient employee training. Firstly, it is of course severely detrimental to our patients. Any mistake from an employee responsible for a part in patient care can affect the patient’s outcomes. This is true of their clinical care as well as the coordination and transition of care to other facilities or home. Secondly, because training prepares you for your role, it yields high employee turnaround rates. Employees are left with hundreds of questions which leads to a feeling of instability. Employees are usually more responsive when they feel confident in their positions. Lastly, it leaves providers open to malpractice.

However, insufficient training can easily be changed with good planning and implementation. A good resource I found was from the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO published Guidelines for Training Traditional Health Practitioners in Primary Health Care. In the Guidelines, they talk about 6 steps: Planning, Determining Content, Determining Training Methods, Selecting Materials, Training the Trainers, and Evaluating. It also provides detailed sub-steps for each portion to help shape your training program. Though they may not all relate to you, they can help you create the backbone to your program.

So how do you know that your training is being fully implemented? What I have come to realize is competency is key and constant evaluation are vital to the agency evolving and growing.  It is important that we know our employees are competent to fulfill their positions. Though requirements may only state that you do competency checks annually or every x amount of years, you may want to reassess. This will only help you ensure your practice is fully implementing your training program.

How have you ensured that your employees are properly trained?