From the desk of Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, December 16, 2011

Editor’s note: This feature is written by nursing professional development expert Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN. Each week, Adrianne writes about an important issue in the area of professional development or answers reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at 

Easing the burden of on-demand training and inservices
Much of our on-demand training and inservices have to do with equipment updates, psychomotor skills, and dealing with unexpected or unusual patient diagnoses. Training needs are often quickly identified and must be met swiftly and efficiently.
Here are some suggestions for making the challenges of on-demand training and inservice education easier:
  • Maintain an up-to-date listing of companies and vendors with which you deal most often. This can be a challenge since vendors change frequently so this responsibility should be delegated. A reliable departmental secretary or administrative assistant could make sure that such a list is up to date and maintained so that all departmental staff members have quick and easy access to it. Make sure that names and contact information are current. Don’t forget to thank your vendors. Add them to your holiday mailings and send a thank you note to those who have particularly helpful.
  • Develop templates for documentation. A template with space for objectives, content, evaluation, and signatures of educators and learners should be available for quick access. (See HCPro’s A Practical Guide to Staff Development (2nd ed.) for samples of such templates).
  • For quick updates such as definitions of unusual diagnoses or treatments use bulletin boards, e-mails, or smart phones as communication mechanisms. If needed, be sure to provide a way to document that people have read these bursts such as electronic signatures or hard copy signatures as needed. 
  • Identify and train staff nurses who are interested in education to assist with inservice training.

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