Accreditation

The staff have spoken: Staff education is a hit

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, February 1, 2005

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A $1 million prize wasn't at stake, but staff education achieved through "Survivor" games may mean a winning JCAHO survey at Youville Hospital & Rehabilitation Center in Cambridge, MA, in late January.

The long-term acute care hospital combined its annual mandatory survey education with the popular reality TV show after the first planning meeting drew a resounding yawn from organizers.

The idea for "Survivor-Youville" came to WendySue Woods, RN, MHSA, a consultant with The Greeley Co., a division of HCPro, Inc., in Marblehead, MA, as a way to reenergize staff education and "to get the tracer methodology experience in front of all staff."

"They play so many games on that show to begin with, I thought you could easily use those themes in booths" set up for staff education, Woods says.

The Youville mandatory education committee (MEC) approved of Woods' idea, says Janet Hosta, RN, MSN, interim chief nursing executive and director of the professional education department, especially because the previous year's education session took hours for staffers to get through and featured booth after booth of paper quizzes.

"They felt it was more like a paper exercise v. a learning experience," Hosta says, referring to the staff feedback she received over the past few years. "We really wanted to change that--so staff would learn and have fun at the same time."

Hosta says Survivor-Youville enabled 429 of the facility's 610 employees (including the chief executive officer) to visit 15 booths in about 45 minutes one day in November 2004--where they did much more than paper quizzes, participating in activities such as sticking their hands into "snakepits."

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