Cynical Training Stories

Posted: Jul 18, 2012
Views: 609 - Comments: 2

You are here

Why is it that when you need to train a new employee, the flow of the hospital is NEVER ideal? As soon as I welcome a potential technician for a working interview or get that new tech on the floor for their first shift, NOTHING HAPPENS. It will be the slowest four hours or the quietest ER receiving shift in years. Never fails. Now what? In the old days that meant this poor person had to listen to my boring stories for hours on end, mixed with a few nuggets of knowledge about triage. Not anymore. Now we have structure to our training. And it’s a whole new world.

I believe that my passion for training stems from my horrible first shift at DoveLewis on New Years Eve. They knew I was crazy when I accepted that night as my first ever emergency shift, because WHO DOES THAT?! At that time our hospital had about 16 cages behind a glass wall, and I was sent behind that glass wall to perform treatments on 16 patients. I started at one end and made my way down and back. For 10 hours. Nobody talked to me, and I really had no idea if I was doing anything right. I relied on my two years of general practice experience and tech school education to get me through. Thankfully, no one died.

Sometimes I have nightmares about the ‘old days’ at DoveLewis; our through-the-roof staff turnover rates, 33 open shifts on the schedule in one week, the never-ending complaints and blaming of other shifts for everything, new employees spending months coming to work terrified, and technicians afraid to even apply. No one bothered to learn the names of new employees because they probably wouldn't last long enough to be worth the trouble. Yikes. Sound familiar anyone?

Things have changed a LOT around here in the last 13 years. The technician training structure was born from my desire to make sure no one suffered like I did. My desire is to help new employees know what they are supposed to be doing, and help the staff trust that new employees are actually being trained. To make sure that there is a list of concepts to talk about and skills to master on their first shift. Even with no patients coming in the door, we can talk about the crash cart, how to properly tape an IV catheter, and now (thanks to this website) watch and learn from our videos.

There is so much for new technicians to learn at a new practice. It's overwhelming for both the trainer and the new employee. Training checklists give me something to work from, and give employees a measure of what they're learning and retaining. It keeps me on track when training so that I cover everything, patients or no patients. Plus I just like to talk about what I do! For 10 hours at a time. No really, I can talk about triage and shock for that long. Don’t you wish I was hiring YOU for an overnight shift?