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Training and Development in Health Care

Updated on October 21, 2017

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Training and development

Training and development in the healthcare industry is an ongoing process. The importance of an ongoing education cannot be overestimated. Continued education is necessary, as the healthcare industry grows so does the specialization of the different parts of the industry. A person’s educational needs does not stop with a diploma. Because the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, training and development for the healthcare worker must be ongoing. The healthcare professional must keep up with the times. Healthcare workers must have a career development plan. To understand the effectiveness of training a healthcare organization must be able to measure the knowledge of the employee and the training process. The review process can be done through testing, interviewing employees and rating.

The Importance of Knowing

The importance of knowing what he or she is doing and why cannot be underestimated. This is especially true for the healthcare industry that deals with the health and welfare of humanity. The Healthcare industry is very technically complex with specialties covering a wide array of topics from patient care to specialty fields such as radiology. This means that a person who wants to work in healthcare will need some sort of education that deals with either a specific healthcare field or a specialty. A person wanting to work as a nurse needs to be educated in the field of nursing.

Today in many doctor’s offices a registered nurse will have more interaction with the patient than the doctor. This leads to a patient nurse interaction that will require the nurse to translate what a diagnosis is a form a patient could understand. As the many healthcare fields become more specialized there will be a need for more specialized education. This education does not stop at the point a person is hired.

Training and Career Development

Training and career development are important to the healthcare worker. The educated person needs to continue that education to be current in his or her field. This means training to sharpen skills and a career development program to keep up with new advances in the industry and increase his or her worth to the organization.

This continuing career development is separate from traditional training because it deals with future needs and any possible promotions. According to Gomez-Majia, Balkin, and Cardy (2010), “the differences between training and development, in training, the focus is solely on the current job; in development, the focus is on both the current job and jobs that employees will hold in the future.” This continuing education process is so important to the healthcare industry that it is required by many state and federal agencies. This requirement comes in the form of yearly certification and licensing requirements.

Measuring Competence

Measuring competence is essential for training and career development to be effective. A starting point for a person’s knowledge can help show where an employee can train to improve his or her working knowledge. This can also help the employee with a career development showing him or her where his or her strengths lie. All the knowledge in the world cannot help if the employee does not have the capacity to either understand or use the knowledge practically. The act of measuring the competency of an employee can be tricky. Tests designed to measure intelligence or knowledge can be seen as discrimination.

Some of this information can come from performance appraisals and initial training of personnel. Most organizations will train new personnel on in-house procedures. The organization will also cover government regulations and guidelines. New employees receive this training no matter how much experience he or she has in the healthcare field. In this regard, some of the training and career development can be offered to all employees. As an employee works within the organization, he or she will develop a personnel file of success and failures.

Review the Training

Have the employee review the training. According to Carter McNamara of Authenticity Consulting, one way is to interview the employee before during and after training. “Ask the employee how they're doing. Do they understand what's being said” (McNamara, n.d. para. 13). McNamara also suggests giving a test both before and after the training to determine if the training met the expectations and needs. During the training process have the participating employees explain what they are covering. This can also help the employee retain the information by having him or her put what is covered in his or her own words. McNamara also suggests using a rating system allowing the employees to rate the training one to five. The problem is that rating systems are subject to the personal views of the individual employee. An employee may rate a training session higher than he or she should be thinking that the company may hold him or her responsible for not making good use of the training. Some employees will not give a high rating on the idea that no training is perfect.

Any review process is inexact and can be misleading. An organization’s best way to review the training process is to see if the training made a difference in the quality of patient care. Ask the employee if he or she believes that he or she is obtaining the knowledge he or she needs to be effective in his or her job.

Another tool for judging training is the employee's past performance appraisal. A performance appraisal, when done correctly with no bias, can show where an employee is deficient in his or her work. By comparing the pre-training work with the work post-training, a measure of change should be apparent. Proper training and career development can help both the employee and the organization grow and improve care.


Gomez-Majia, L., Balkin, D., & Cardy, R. (2010). Managing human resources. Retrieved from

McNamara, C. (n.d.). Evaluating training and results (ROI of Training). Authenticity

Consulting, LLC. Retrieved from


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    • mike102771 profile image

      Michael Collins 5 years ago from Lakemore, Ohio

      It is also important for the training (in-house) to be useful for the organization and the employee. There are too many training seminars and programs out there that on the surface have value, but in reality is a waste of money. It’s easy for money managers with little to no actual connection with the patients to lose sight of what is important.

      For health care to be used it has to be easy to access and understand.