Does your staff groan when the topic of continuing medical education (CME) classes comes up? CME classes that fail to engage participants or provide useful information can be a waste of time, even if they’re required.
Making a few changes to your CME program can be instrumental in changing your employees’ attitudes about the continuing education requirement.
Here are five tips that will help you convince staff that CME classes are worth their time.
1. Encourage Interactive Classes
Lectures certainly have an important place in the CME process, but it’s easy for your attention to drift when you’re a listener rather than a participant. Offering simulations during continuing education classes provides participants with valuable hands-on experience, gets everyone out of their chairs and encourages interprofessional collaboration.
According to an American Hospital Association report, simulations only account for 1 percent of CME activities. Why not improve that average by scheduling more role-playing during your continuing education classes?
2. Make It Interesting
Sometimes the most knowledgeable people aren’t the most adept at preparing interesting lectures. Unfortunately, word tends to spread quickly about those stuffy sessions, and soon, it’s difficult to convince staff to register for them.
Choosing energetic, engaging people with hands-on experience to lead sessions can increase interest and boost attendance. Consider partnering with other organizations to ensure that your educational offerings remain fresh and relevant.
3. Offer Online Classes
If you ask your staff why they don’t enjoy CME classes, many of them will probably mention the time commitment. Since many classes are only offered during normal business hours, it can be difficult for hospital employees and physicians to rearrange their schedules.
Online classes offer an excellent alternative and allow staff members to participate in training when it’s convenient for them. Although online CME classes are a good choice for covering basic material, traditional classroom sessions are best if the subject matter is complex or controversial.
4. Align Programs with Hospital Goals
Participants benefit when hospitals choose programs that help them advance institutional goals. For example, if improving patient-centered care is a priority at your hospital, sessions that focus on care issues are more likely to be considered helpful and worthwhile by staff. Reviewing the hospital mission, goals and areas that need improvement can help you develop programs that will interest your staff.
5. Decrease the Required Paperwork
Completing the paperwork for continuing education credits can be so time-consuming that your staff members would rather just avoid it. Unfortunately, you can only avoid the pain of paperwork for so long. Putting off education requirements often results in a last-minute dash to schedule as many classes as possible before the deadline. Streamlining the paperwork system and making the process as simple as possible will help convince your staff that registering for a course can be painless.
Continuing education programs offer an excellent way for hospital staff to hone their skills and increase their exposure to new ideas and practices. Making the educational process easier and more relevant is an excellent way to boost staff interest and participation.
Concerned that you may be missing a few key patient satisfaction benchmarks? Take a look at our free guide, The Ultimate Patient Satisfaction Checklist for Nurse Managers.