How to Develop Effective Hospital Training and Development Programs

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Patient care and medical technology are always evolving and improving; this is why training and development doesn’t end in school. Further education is required, and part of it needs to be accomplished within the hospital itself. 

Importance of Training

Despite a busy and fast paced work environment, medical facilities need continuous training for employees – particularly nurses – due to the following important reasons:

Employee Improvement

Training solidifies employees’ existing skills and helps them improve in lacking areas. An effective training program spots individual areas of improvement in order to address them properly. This enables every staff member to be independently effective when it comes to performing their roles without relying on fellow employees who are more experienced with specific tasks. This builds the nurse’s confidence, improves overall performance and encourages cooperation, as well as creativity to bring new ideas into the workplace.

Safety and Consistency

Aside from this, training also includes information about personal and patient safety practices. It reinforces consistency in hospital policies when all medical staff are aware of rules and updates for the hospital, and the healthcare industry in general.  

Employee Satisfaction

In a previous post, we reported that the feeling of being poorly educated is one of the reasons why nurses leave. Training keeps employees satisfied, as it leads to collaboration and cooperation among staff members. It makes everyone feel that they are valued and their contributions are acknowledged.

“Training is important for employee improvement and satisfaction, as well as for safety and consistency.”


Best Practices for Hospital Training

Despite good intentions, hospital training programs are only effective through best practices. It involves a process which extends before, during and after the training.

The program should be designed based on two principles: it must cater to all types of learners, and needs to be customized specifically for your hospital’s system.

Consider Individual Learning Styles and Employee Responsibilities

Individuals vary when it comes to learning. Some best absorb information when it is communicated verbally, visually, or a combination of both. A quick survey should resolve this. If not, a thorough observation of how each employee responds to varying training techniques will help distinguish everyone’s learning style.

Training sessions should not affect staff member’s responsibilities – particularly those who are assigned critical roles. It’s best to schedule training during dead hours or in between tasks so as not to affect productivity, staffing, and overall patient care quality.

Personalize the Program for the Hospital

Training programs must be personalized to specifically address the company’s needs. Ideally,  hospital staff, who have direct knowledge of issues which may require more training should be consulted when developing a program. Most readily available modules are too generic and don’t concentrate on specific concerns. You may consider utilizing pre-packaged modules, which provide opportunities to edit materials so you can include concepts that are relevant to the hospital’s needs.

Incorporate Interaction and Technology

Attention span diminishes after a while, so extended training sessions should be minimized, or made more lively with interactive elements. During the training session, include group exercises, games, role playing, brainstorming, demonstrations and other methods which encourage collaboration and cooperation among attendees. Don’t rely on the usual lecture and discussion alone.

Take advantage of technology. Use new methods of teaching, including simulation (SIM) labs and just-in-time training (JITT). We discussed the concept of Sim labs vs. JITT extensively, in this previous post.

Evaluate the Program’s Effectiveness

A method to evaluate the program’s effectiveness must also be developed. Training which doesn’t improve employees’ skills or competency is a waste of hospital funds, human resources, and the employees’ time as well.

“Hospital training needs to consider individual learning style and responsibilities, along with the hospital’s goals. It must incorporate interaction and technology, and be evaluated for effectiveness.”


Design and Implementation of Training Programs

In a nutshell, the process of designing and implementing training programs involve three important steps:

  1. Assessment of employee training needs
  2. Defining hospital training objectives
  3. Designing, creating and implementing the program

Assessment of Employee Training Needs

You can use various tools to assess which skills or core competencies are lacking in your organization, including conducting surveys, patient feedback, performance reviews, and observations from  team leaders or immediate supervisors.

Defining Hospital Training Objectives

The results of the employee training needs assessment should be used to define the hospital’s training objectives. This will help to solidify expectations for employee performance, following the training.

Design, Creation, and Implementation of the Program

The final step involves designing, creating and implementing the training program.

The staff’s experience – educational as well as practical – and learning style should also be considered. The hospital must designate an expected training outcome, which can be measured through performance tests and other forms of evaluation for effectiveness.

Designing and implementing training programs follow a process: assessment of employee training needs, definition of hospital training objectives, and, finally, creation and implementation of the program..”


Other vital factors are the following:

  • Method of instruction – lecture, written materials, SIM lab, JIIT, seminar/workshop
  • Training duration – short or extended courses
  • Location – within the hospital, anywhere at their own pace, educational institutions, overseas

A hospital’s training and development program can only be effective when it is geared to achieve the hospital’s objectives and helps improve employees’ skills and competencies.

Tine Health

Tine Health can make your hospital training and development program effective through just-in-time training videos that are accessible and accurate, even while on the go, so as not to interfere with productivity.

Contact us for more details on how to incorporate JITT for your hospital’s training and development program!

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