Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Would YOU attend this in-service?

I’ve been working on some educational content for an agency that cares for patients and families with advanced dementia, in response to regulations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health requiring eight hours of dementia-specific staff training.

As these folks helpfully explain, “Previously, nursing homes and other facilities were technically permitted to advertise their services as specializing in dementia care, even though their staffs were not appropriately trained…”


Jeanne had a mantra about teaching that was the foundation for everything she tried to do in classroom and clinical settings:

“Mediocre teachers convey information. Adequate teachers provoke discussion. Outstanding teachers inspire.”

My project colleagues and I have explored different ways to develop, package, and present the material. Our goal is to enhance skills and understanding, and support the kinds of sustainable positive changes in staff behavior that lead to higher quality service, and result in better outcomes for patients and families.

Videos are an important part of our model.

I’ve been critical of what passes for “continuing education” in health care for about as long as I’ve been a nurse, because I’ve been forced to endure more crappy programs and “death by PowerPoint” than I can count.

I’ve tried watching in-house videos with low production values featuring presenters more suited to print, or who would benefit from simple coaching. But it usually takes just a minute or two for me to want to jab large knitting needles into my eyeballs.

Maybe I’m too sensitive.

We plan to award contact hours to the nurses who attend these programs, so I’ve also been working on the detailed application for approval by our state ANA chapter. The application guidelines include specific language required to disclose information about earning credit, along with any conflicts of interest or commercial support.

I first recorded my own narration for this and the other video elements, but still wanted to reach for the knitting needles. I thought a woman’s voice, speaking with a British accent, would be much better.

Someone told me about Fiverr, where I found the perfect person (voice).

I told a friend about my plan. She replied, “Use a man’s voice,” and made a compelling case that quickly won me over.

Here’s a version of what will be included at the start of each video, once they’ve been approved to award nursing contact hours. I think my friend was right.