Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

I was reminded of something this week that got me thinking: It’s easier to stay warm than get warm. As we just finished winter, and a brutal one for many, this makes sense. Once you are cold, it takes quite a while to warm up your “system.” Same thing for your car, home, etc. right? 

This got me thinking about education. Don’t ask me how — I’ve never figured out how my mind works. It’s just that we educate in spurts or when we are in crisis mode, like when we get a deficiency, and no one can work the floor until they have been educated on XYZ. 

So, we circle the wagons, pull everyone together and educate on the subject. Then we show our surveyors that everyone has had XYZ education, and when they resurvey, it looks like it stuck. And, that’s great, right?

But six month later, we’ve moved on to ABC and no one is really remembering or practicing XYZ that well. The problem is, we need a simple way to track compliance with our training. In other words, we don’t want to get cold and then chop the wood, put it in the fireplace, start the fire and try to warm up again. I mean, that’s exhausting isn’t it?

So how about pop-up audits on what we’ve been teaching throughout the year? Let’s not lose the skills but reinforce them. It takes less time in the long run and you’re providing much better care. It’s easier to keep the fire going than to run around putting out fires. Just saying. (Uh-oh, do I feel a chill?)

Just getting “warmed up,” and keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.