How do you make a pot of coffee? I don’t drink coffee often, but when I do, I want it to be rich with flavor and not too dark and not too transparent. I know exactly what I like to see as I pour it into my mug and the steam rises, and it’s warmth gently kisses my face, while this amazing aroma comforts me.
Ok, I like coffee! But for years I could never get it right. I mean how much water, how much coffee grains? My husband makes great coffee, but no matter what I did, I could never make it like him. After wasting many pots of coffee, I eventually, somewhat, got it! It is true; practice does make perfect.
The Importance of Frequent Staff Training
When administrators ask me about staff training and frequency, I always think about my coffee making woes and how many times it took me to make an okay pot of coffee. Unfortunately, many school administrators only want to know about the minimum requirements, which is truly disappointing when you consider the fact that medical skill training can be complex; especially when preparing to provide support for children. Implementing best practices over minimum requirements is important.
As a medical professional with over 20 years of experience, I must think about many things when assisting someone in a medical emergency. The environment, patients age, their medical history, the disorder I am treating, their signs and symptoms, the safety and ability of the people around me, and the list goes on and on. When delegating a medical skill to a non-medical professional, I don’t mind telling you that I take it quite seriously. When I provide training to a non-medical professional, I am taking my years of experience, practice, and knowledge and trusting a non-medical professional to understand and deliver quality support to a child who is in a medical crisis.
When a child is in a medical crisis, everyone panics. It is overwhelming and quite stressful for everyone. Every situation is different, and you must respond accordingly. Current and frequent training will prepare school staff to deal with the unknown. It also gives them an opportunity to share their stories while receiving current strategies and tips.
I must admit, I do get a little irritated when providing training to people who are a little too confident because they have a family member with the same disorder that I am training them in. Although it is good when my students have basic knowledge of a medical condition, it does not supersede the need for quality training. On the contrary, in most cases, they have just enough knowledge to make them dangerous. Their experience is based on one specific type of patient with very particular parameters.
Why the Minimum Requirements for Staff Medical Training Are Not Enough
I wish I could give you a magic number for all training, but for the most part, the law is not very specific when it comes to training requirements and frequency, so you must rely on other factors. Administrators must consider more than minimum requirements when determining the frequency of medical skill training. Consider the following:
- What are the laws and requirements for the training?
- How often will your staff use the skills learned in training?
- What type of person is receiving the training?
- What is the cost of training?
When you consider the utilization of the skill, it’s important to embrace the “practice makes perfect” concept. Hopefully, your staff is not being bombarded with four and five kids having asthmatic attacks each week. With that said, the less they are exposed to a disorder, the more exposure they will need to the skills required to support that disorder. When you think about your staff receiving the training, you need to consider their willingness and their personality. Some people just can’t handle it. If you assign a person who is too high strung and emotional, they may not be able to carry out the required task. And lastly, the cost is a considerable factor, but remember, you get what you pay for. Johnny’s mom may be an RN and free, but does she have the skills and ability to deliver the type of training that you need? You must consider their area of practice and their ability to teach.
OK school administrators, check this off your list! You are not alone. Let us help you develop and deliver a comprehensive medical training policy that you can be proud of. Schedule a 15-minute phone dialog and learn how we can help.