Last updated: 29.12.12

Healthcare professionals 'value time for online training'

A panel of healthcare experts have met to talk about how managers using online training can support their staff.

In a report released by the Guardian Professional yesterday (December 27th), the news provider disclosed the highlights from the discussion, which took place over the internet.

It was revealed that Dr Sian Williams, a clinical director at the Health and Work Development Unit - a partnership between the Royal College of Physicians and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine - thinks making time for learning in the current economic climate is extremely difficult.

She pointed to an example of a nurse who was recently required to stay behind late after her shift to complete an online training module, adding: "All staff must have access to development - it is the same argument as for staff health - if you don't invest then staff will be less engaged."

Meanwhile, Carl Macrae, improvement science fellow at the charity Health Foundation, stated learning and development does not have to cost organisations - or the government - a lot of money.

Rather, the professional believes activities such as job shadowing, mentoring and coaching can be beneficial for all parties and at all levels of a company, while it can also be provided internally by peers.

He continued: "Staff can be encouraged to support one another - leaders can give staff 'licence' to do this, giving them a helpful nudge to look out for colleagues."

Furthermore, directors should not just "listen and then act" - instead, they ought to give employees as much involvement in change as possible, Mr Macrae claimed.

Healthcare leaders who are looking to provide their staff with learning and development may want to consider introducing them to e-learning modules that they can access in their own time.

One provider to offer such materials is Virtual College, a West Yorkshire-based online institution that delivers digital training in subjects such as Lean Healthcare and Fire Safety and Evacuation.