Tips from TSE: The staff developer acts as a consultant

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, January 23, 2009

by Debbie Buchwach, BSN, RN-BC

Nationwide, healthcare organizations are implementing programs and initiatives aimed at improving quality and patient safety. With each program and initiative come requests for education. Staff developers often find they are operating in a reactive mode rather than a proactive mode. To make sure they are giving their resources to the right initiatives, staff developers often find themselves in the role of consultant.

Having a formal process for education requests is a key strategy, and an intake process allows you to obtain the following key information:

  • Target audience
  • Objectives
  • Outcomes
  • Timelines
  • Human and financial resources committed to the project

Next, determine whether the underlying issue is knowledge or skill deficit, attitude barrier, or compliance. If staff doesn't know how to do it or parts of it, there's a knowledge or skills deficit. If staff doesn't know why they need to do it, there's an attitude barrier. If staff knows how to do it and why it needs to be done, it is a compliance issue. Finally, ensure that the key stakeholder has updated policies, procedures, and standards related to the issue.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the January issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!


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