A Blended Approach to Continuing Education

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Amy Shortall
Amy Shortall

By Kathleen Ganster

There are changes in healthcare delivery every day and the only way for healthcare providers to stay current, is for ongoing professional development for their employees.

Celtic Healthcare, a leader in home healthcare, is also a leader in continuing education for their staff.

“We know the importance of training and have a blended approach,” said Amy Shortall, Clinical Education Supervisor for Celtic.

Utilizing skilled staff combined with technology, Shortall said their “blended” training includes virtual classroom training, clinical hands-on training, webinar meetings and videos staff can watch according to their own schedules.

Shortall is particularly proud of this “Learning Management System.”

“The beauty of the videos and web-training is that our staff can do it on their own time. If they have a busy patient load one day, they can wait until they have a break, and then access it at their convenience,” she explained.

This innovative method of combining technology with the skills and expertise of trained staff is a real benefit of Celtic, said Shortall.

“Our use of technology is one of the things that attracted me to Celtic,” she said, “We use evidence-based practices and deliver them in a means that best suits the needs of our staff.”

Celtic staff can even access this programming through home or off-site computers.

“This just makes it easier for our staff to do it on their time when they know they wouldn’t be interrupted by other things,” said Shortall.

Shortall explained staff takes the knowledge gained from the videos, classroom settings and webinars and develop the skills and practices under the trained eyes of skilled staff.

“They take what they learn and put it to use in the field. We find this blended learning approach gives our staff a good combination of learning experiences,” she said.

Shortall herself has a BSN and started with Celtic as a staff nurse, then advanced as a supervisor and trainer. In her role as the education supervisor, she oversees training for new staff, ongoing education and oversees educational programming for their clients.

Education topics range from personal care and bathing to documentation for hospice staff to the aspects of working with patients with Dementia.

“We offer many topics on a regular basis then others on an as-needed basis,” she explained.

Shortall said Celtic is constantly developing new training materials and programming for staff and their clients, a necessity in today’s changing healthcare world.

“Right now, we are working on an in-depth orientation program adding new concepts. There are always new patient care techniques and procedures – things are always evolving in this industry – and we want our staff to be as current as possible,” she said.

The extensive ongoing professional development program helps not only to ensure best-patient care practices, but the success of their team, said Shortall.

“The excellent professional development program that we utilized means better care and outcomes for our patients, plus happier, more successful staff.  And that combination is the bottom line,” said Shortall.

1 COMMENT

  1. I believe that continuing education is very important most specially to those who are in the medical field. Of course, we don’t want to render antiquated care, teachings and information to our clients so, it is best to have Continuing Education for your personal growth and also for your careers.

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