Lessons from healthcare e-Learners

The range and quality of e-Learning courses for healthcare workers continues to grow at an exponential rate, with users - both individually and throughout entire organisations - becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of online training.

We asked two healthcare professionals new to e-Learning to review their experiences and share some thoughts on how and why this delivery method works for them, and what others can do to ensure successful implementation.

Sherylne Howell, Manager of Care Compassion Limited

e-Learning products used:

  • Safeguarding Level 2 and 3
  • Information Governance
  • Fire Safety
  • Health and Safety Awareness

What were the driving factors that influenced you to purchase e-Learning?

My company is a small, startup business and I do not currently have the staffing levels for face-to-face training. The e-Learning bundle from Skills for Health is comprehensive and detailed, and is updated to meet current government regulations.

There are question and answer quizzes that enable you to check that staff understand all information that is received. A certificate of learning can then be printed once the sufficient level of knowledge on each subject area has been demonstrated. I find this very useful as I’m then able to use this information to support staff to understand how the theory is linked to practice, without having to go through the theoretical aspect as well.

How have staff members responded to the use of e-Learning?

They’ve found it easy as it meant they could complete the learning at home and this would also free up time for working. Initially, some team members thought that they’d be able to answer the questions without having the knowledge behind it, and were surprised that they were unable to do so - they had to go back and read the information fully in order to pass the test, greatly improving their knowledge of the subject matter.

I have some staff who had never before worked in healthcare, nor had they ever had to complete any form of e-Learning, but their feedback has been really positive.

My administrator was very surprised at how Information Governance and data protection is much more in depth for healthcare compared to her previous role working for London Transport. The use of the e-Learning made her transition an easy and smooth journey.

What advice would you offer to other healthcare practices considering the adoption e-Learning, and what challenges should they be prepared to face?

E-Learning is cost effective and very useful for businesses that must ensure staff remain up-to-date with current information and best practice guidelines.

It is essential to ensure that busy organisations maintain their training development compliance records, and my experience of e-Learning has made this a straightforward process.

However, it is important to note that not all training can be covered by e-Learning and some will require face-to-face training, such as moving and handling, which are practical courses.

Andre Martey, Coordinator at SH:24

e-Learning products used:

  • The Equality and Diversity training package

What were the driving factors that influenced you to purchase this package?

We needed to be able to train everyone at different paces, as we all have busy workloads and availability. This training package has enabled all employees to be in-line with our HR requirements in a very convenient way.

How have staff members responded to the use of e-Learning?

Online training can be a bit like herding cats, unfortunately; you don’t have a set time and date for everyone to convene and go through everything together, so it hasn’t been very efficient in terms of everyone being on the same page at the same time, but when actually sitting down to get on with it, the experience has been positive.

Some even managed to complete it without too much nagging from myself!

What advice would you offer to other healthcare practices considering the adoption e-Learning, and what challenges should they be prepared to face?

The best and worst thing about e-learning is that it puts the learning in the hands of the student. Training can often be put on the backburner indefinitely without proper motivation from management.

It is great that elearning provides easy tools, but watch out that the ease doesn't lead to a ‘maybe tomorrow’ approach to logging on and completing courses.

Takeaway notes

The key benefits of e-Learning in healthcare are widely-regarded as improved cost-efficiencies and time management, as well as achieving consistency throughout large workforces, and experiences of Sherylne and Andre certainly reflect the general notion that e-Learning empowers training without disrupting schedules or impacting on patient care.

However, without strict timetables in place for completion, ensuring that staff dedicate sufficient time to training can be a challenge.

It is also important to note that staff should be given the opportunity to demonstrate new skills on the job, rather than simply printing out a certificate and being done with it. E-learning can be a great platform for acquiring knowledge, but management need to ensure that theory is put into practice as part of ongoing assessment.

For more detailed information, you can download our free guide - How to successfully implement e-Learning into healthcare practices.

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