In the Meantime You Can Spice Up a Bit
The future of holographic imaged technology revolutionizing the current tons of paperwork will most likely unfold slowly before us. However the ever-growing mounds of requirements, as a result of healthcare reforms and other regulatory initiatives has not and will slow its' pace. The current solution is to make the decision to step outside the box and create our own interactive version for making the text requirements a bit more memorable and enjoyable to digest.
Sure, I know that to date a few agencies offer their compliance requirements on CDs and downloadable PDFs, but what I am proposing is that you and your team collectively seek ways to heighten the learning experience above what is currently offered.
There are no rules that say that you cannot innovate, reorganize and reformat the written text into meaningful and pleasurable events for you and your lab team members.
Reduce Staffs' Moans and Groans
One of the great challenges of introducing new activities into the lab is getting total buy in. The phase "new approach" generally brings an orchestra of moaning and groaning sounds to already overworked laboratorians. But the investment in current energy will pay off in future inspections events.
As a result of the explosion of the Internet, tech tools and social medias, we are gifted to witness the emergence of something profound: information shared across the globe not just for entertainment purposes but for work tasks (i.e., patient treatment conferring) as well. The current and rapid growth of interactive technologies has the potential to revolutionize our current read and memorize text approaches.
It Doesn't Hurt to Dream
Many different types of technologies, from videos to digital devices, can be utilized to support and enhance the learning of requirements of the external agencies and our employer. The multiple uses of these technologies is endless, it just takes craving out some time to think outside of the box with you individual lab department members.
Step 1: Since learning styles differ from person to person and from institution to institution, let me suggest that you first make an assessment of everyone's approach to learning. Reflecting back on previous techniques for college courses and prepping for the certification exam will be extremely helpful.
Step 2: In addition, an assessment of what type of electronics you currently have available to your department is important. You probably already have equipment, such as laptops, desktops, hand-held computers, closed-circuit television channels, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, equipment to create DVDs and CDs.
Step 3: Finally to answer the question, I know you are already asking. Is there enough time to envision different ways to approach the volumes of requirements? No, but you must carve out some time. Every accreditation, certification and regulatory body requires ongoing training of lab personnel. Generally, training consists of episodic marathon sessions, where textual documents and quick quizzes and demonstrations are on the menu.
Since you already are required to participant in competency training, I'm just suggesting sprucing up these activities by using current technology to tap into the sight, hear, touch, smell and tasting senses.
Right and Left Sides of the of Brain Decoded
Neurological scientists have produced volumes of research supporting the fact that when our five senses (i.e., sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) are incorporated in to learning experiences, our subconscious stores the material in our memory as pictures and images in the right side of our brain. When having to recall the information from the left side of the brain (the data storage component), if the data was implanted with correlating images, the right side of the brain will kick in to facilitate rapid retrieval of the of the stored information.
Research by a learning institution called the Accelerated Learning Methods (ALM) provides data to support this phenomenon. In fact, one of its education scientist presents an example of these data and imagery links by stating, "This may sound strange, but when I smell a certain type of pencil wood, it brings up a memory image in my mind when I was in my 2nd grade classroom. There I am, writing at my desk in class. The image could not be clearer."1
Sensory Links Will Speed Learning and Recall
To make learning meaningful and enhance desired outcomes for the learner, the approach must draw on employees' existing professional knowledge in a creative fashion. Requirements and expectations must be presented in such a way to encourage the employee to reflect upon and elaborate in their own mental framework the intent of the regulation or standard. When lab employees are provided the necessary information via tools that tap into their senses, they will perceive the topic an interesting and will retain the information longer.
For example, ask one of your coworkers to recite a scene from one of their favorite movies that they have seen only once and more than 5 years ago. I guarantee you they will be able to recall every visual detail, the sounds and music that made and impact upon them. Heaven forbid they were eating hot buttery popcorn at the time, for if they were--you will receive a blow-by-blow replay of how each kernel of corn tasted.
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