There are many different approaches to educating your staff. Although various tactics may be effective, be certain to ensure that your staff is involved in designing their own education within the areas that it affects them. We suggest trying some of the following strategies.
Our staff members here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, really enjoy their time with the physicians. We have therefore created many different tactics by which the staff can carry out the doctors’ wishes every single day. Our first strategy is setting aside regularly scheduled time for the doctors to meet with the staff. This is a top priority in staff training and education. Topics of discussion include not only what staff members should say to patients but also how they say it.
The next strategy is to evaluate staff members’ command of medical terminology. We want staff members to have discussions with patients similarly to how we would interact with them. Once a year, each staff member takes a test on 200 to 300 terms related to the care we provide. We create the test throughout the year. Every team member must pass this test with a score of 90% or better. He or she keeps taking the test until that goal is achieved.
Staff members also complete an oral version of the same test. This is for when they field questions at church, family reunions, a bar, or other social settings. Conversations tend to revolve around what we offer at the practice, and as providers, we trust our own answers. It is important that our staff members respond in a similar fashion to the questions they hear.
We also regularly give the staff an opportunity to showcase what they know through co-teaching at educational events, making presentations to our referring doctors, and being shadowed by visitors, referring providers, and their staffs.
As a result of these efforts, our team members’ firm foundation of knowledge enhances our patients’ care and experiences. We believe this educational process also empowers the staff in a way that improves their joy and satisfaction in the workplace.
This article originally appeared in Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. Click here to download a PDF version.