In the extraordinarily dynamic healthcare industry fundamental changes are the norm. Whether it is more advanced hospital equipment, new medical technology, or new procedural techniques, medical professionals are expected to keep up with their professional education. For nurses, physicians and other hospital staff this can be a difficult challenge. The healthcare industry is demanding environment with long shifts, little room for error and limited time for training. Time away from work is often dependent on patient demand. If demand rises based on more injuries or illnesses in the immediate area, medical professionals may have their vacation time trimmed. Consequently, though physicians and nurses recognize the need for refresher training, many find it difficult to make time to give the programs their due.
Time constraints do not diminish the necessity of the refresher training courses, however. When faced with such concerns, hospital administrators need to make refresher training and continuing education an active part of hospital routine for all staff involved. Creating a feedback loop to help in measuring individual performance will help hospital administrators observe the staff and make helpful recommendations regarding changes in employee procedurals. Employees should have direct access to these feedback loops and be encouraged to make recommendations of their own. If there is conflict regarding hospital policy, employees must be in an unthreatened position in order to feel that they can be as honest as necessary when making recommendations.
In terms of the refresher training itself, there are many nursing re certification courses, enhanced training programs, and refresher training credits around the US. If you are thinking about entering (or if your hospital requires participation), be sure to investigate these programs thoroughly. Make sure that the program has been accredited by an appropriate medical institution (such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the Emergency Nurses Association) or the training may not be recognized by your hospital. A good strategy here is to check with hospital administrators directly regarding additional training opportunities. Many hospitals make public recommendations when prompting their employees to take refresher training courses or to apply for re certification.
After an appropriate program has been located, keep your hospital informed of your progress. Most hospitals require documentation signaling your completion of the program, but if you see fit, ask your hospital’s administration about incorporating the local feedback loop into the refresher training for additional evaluation. If you think the training could be more effective, both hospital administrators and training administrators need to know.