Training feasible even when cash is tight

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Videoconferencing is one of the best ways to make ongoing education for geriatric workers more feasible, a study at a for-profit skilled nursing facility in Chicago shows.

Researchers at the National Opinion Research Center con- ducted an analysis of nurses' educational needs and barriers — including financial pressures and poor communication — to continuing education.

Then they piloted a quality- improvement approach to meet the needs of nursing staff by combining on-site trainings with a broader effort to edu- cate adults and other caregivers through a community network.

In her study, published in Geriatric Nursing, Louis C. Hawkley, Ph.D. and senior research scientist at NORC, said inadequate training on dealing with complex patients leads to high turnover.

The pilot used a variety of tactics from stand-up meetings to lunch-and-learn sessions and clinical presentations on topics of interest to staff.

Classroom trainings, including weekly teleconferences with case studies, garnered the highest employee ratings despite low attendance. Researchers recommended management allow staff to attend during a shift for successful implementation.