Training for Hospital Staff – Need of the Hour

Blog Healthcare Facilities

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Henry Ford

Tải game 777 viên ngọc rồngTraining is imperative for any industry or organization. However the role of training has even more significance in ever evolving healthcare sector. Technology, process and market dynamics change at a break neck speed. Any hospital whose staff is not abreast with the changes happening around is for sure headed towards a downward graph.

Owner of the hospital or for that matter the top management in a hospital hardly meets the patients or interacts with them. In fact it is the staff at the ground that is the flag bearer for the hospitals and it is this team of frontline soldiers that create the image of the hospital in the market. Still most of the hospital owners have least appreciation for the continuous training of their staff. There are many reasons to this thought that includes:

  • Fear that after the training staff would move to other set ups
  • It is a waste of  money as it does not impact revenue stream on the positive side
  • The staff  is of that level only and they have learnt by doing same work over and over again
  • The staff has low IQ and cannot be trained any further
  • We have marketing and sales team that meets the doctor

Tải game 777 viên ngọc rồngHowever my opinion on all the above arguments is very different. It might be because of the reason that I have worked in organizations which were having a standalone training department whose job was to keep the staff updated.

  • Fear that after the training staff would move to other set ups – Most of the employees move to different hospitals or change their organizations for the sake of growth. When I say growth it does not imply financial growth. I have always believed that growth in finances will come automatically with the augmentation in skills and job profile. Job profile or responsibilities can only increase if you develop new skill set which is possible only through focused training after analyzing trainee’s personality, current skills, interest and motivation levels.
  • It is a waste of money as it does not impact revenue stream on the positive side – I will disagree with this argument as well especially in hospitals. Most of the employees work in a water tight compartment. They are just aware about their departments rather their profile, period. Due to this approach they are unable to generate revenue for the hospital from the patient or the attendant who is standing in their premises. If a person asks a nurse if a particular test is being done in the hospital and she answers “I don’t know” then it’s a loss of revenue. On the contrary if she would have been trained about the services being provided at the hospital and where to send the patient she would have been able to generate revenue for the hospital. So training definitely adds to the revenue of the organization. For me every person working in a hospital from a security guard at the main gate to the CEO in his chamber is a marketing person.
  • The staff is of that level only and they have learnt by doing same work over and over again – Answer is in their argument only. If they have learnt something without any training just by doing a job over and over again that shows they are trainable. It is just the approach has been wrong because of which they have taken so long to learn a thing. Being trainable or not trainable is just a mind set. In fact to my view a raw person is easily trainable then an experienced person. It is similar to molding raw clay in which ever shape you want rather than trying to change an already molded pot.
  • The staff has low IQ and cannot be trained any further – Degree is just a document and a barrier that organizations have put to create a hierarchy. A less qualified person with great zeal to learn and grow is better than a highly qualified person with low zeal. However here I would like to clarify that this holds true for people at certain levels. For functional profiles like finance, legal, operations and technical levels you need certain set of skills and qualifications. Coming back to the question of level of staff, recruitment is very important. Recruitment of the right person for the right job is of utmost importance and I am not talking about degrees. It is the personality of the person that should suit the job rather than degree. An introvert person hired for a front office or a coordinator position is an absolute wrong choice even is he/she is a hospital management or hotel management degree holder. I would prefer a graduate who is flamboyant, extrovert and presentable over a post graduate.
  • We have marketing and sales team that meets doctors – Honestly speaking most of the hospitals especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities have PRO which are represented as sales and marketing team. This is true that they meet the doctors on regular basis. Has anyone analysed how effective is that meet with the doctor! Are they even trained to talk to a doctor who is minimum BAMS or MBBS? This is called product knowledge. Time has gone long back when every marketing would talk about everything. Now the time is to have product specialist who have thorough knowledge about the product they are going to market. This needs product specific training where they should know what to talk and what not to. They should be aware about the competition and their unique selling propositions. They should be selling a packaged product rather than a service. This again reiterates the importance of training not only to the hospital staff but to marketing and sales team as well. Another very good example is tie ups with insurance companies and TPA for cashless services. Most hospital owners rue about the poor packages offered by the insurance companies. The game is entirely in training, Product Training. You cannot defend the prices that you are asking from the insurance till the time you have in depth knowledge about each and every product and process that you have.

Before even beginning training it is important to interact with the staff to understand their mind set as well as motivation level. They need to be at the level where they are open to learn, open to accept new things. This is the most difficult part as there will always be resistance to change. But they need to be reminded that change is the need of the hour and path towards the personal as well as organizational growth. Before the first training session there has to be a written assessment of current level of staff through a small basic test which should be compared with a similar test post training to ascertain the efficacy of the training program. Also it needs to be mentioned that the results of training start yielding result in some time. The results though can be seen in the body language of the staff, their faces, the way they interact with the patient etc. Apart from class room training it is equally important that on ground training be dovetailed with it. Hand holding is the key during this on ground training because this not only gives them confidence but also gives them a chance to see practical implementation of what they have learnt in the training room. Let me end this article with a beautiful quote from Mahatma Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Anurag Srivastava

Anurag Srivastava has more than 15 years of Healthcare Experience both in Executive as well as Consultive Capacities. He has handled all the segments of Healthcare which includes Planning, Operations, Branding, Marketing, Purchase, HR and Finance

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