Environmental Management Services Training Specialist
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Our practice increases standardization of work and highlights environmental care in a healthcare setting is at its’ best when process driven. It establishes clear expectations for new employees while providing a platform for ongoing training and education for established employees. The training specialist networks with facility subject matter experts on a variety of topics to augment in-service training needs, acts as a service level TMS administrator, performs literature review research, as well as develops appropriate curriculum as needed. Our practice also embeds components of Whole Health to better support a Veteran majority staff.
August 2016, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans' Hospital (Madison)
2 successful, 4 in-progress
Awards and Recognition:
Diffusion of Excellence Promising Practice, VHA Shark Tank Winner
Does not include Clinical Resource Hubs (CRH)
Lack of, insufficient, or poor-quality training were previously a reliable complaint among environmental technicians at the Madison VA. Since implementing our training specialist practice, such statements are far and few between. All employee surveys show marked improvement in all three categories of employee development, job performance competency, and communications/expectations over the 4 year time span measured.
The data demonstrates William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital consistently outperforms the VISN (12) and National patient satisfaction levels regarding the cleanliness of their rooms, but also demonstrates a marked increase with patient satisfaction over the 4 year time span measured. These increases are in spite of chronic short staffing and high turn-over rates.
Months 1Gaining permission to establish the position and establishing a rated PD
Months 3-4Recruiting to fill the position; onboarding and integrating newly hired trainer.
Month 5Establishing initial training needs, priorities, resources, curriculums
Month 6On the job training, documentation of training/proficiencies is happening
Months 8 onwardAdded monthly departmental training meetings; "looping in" established employees who have not recieved new employee training from the trainer.
- Infection control
- Education and training
- Human resources
|Resource type||Resource description|
- Position Description EMS Training Instructor PD
- Competency Checklist Daily Room Clean Competency
- Competency checklist Discharge Room Cleaning Compentency
- Departmental onboarding orientation EMS Orientation and Initial Training Document
Risks and mitigations
|Selecting an individual with demonstrated teaching and curriculum design abilities with the departmental technical knowledge and skills needed.||Focus on the organizational and teaching abilities of candidates; If technical aspects are lacking, develop a plan to train-the trainer.|
|Those who resist change are inevitable.||Departmental managers, supervisors, work leaders, and the trainer should be in lock-step on policies and procedures. Thoughtful change management planning prior to and during implementation can help prevent push back and minimize disruptive behaviors regarding the change.|
|An established workspace with a computer is prudent. Not all of the trainer's duties are carried out in the larger hospital environment.||Space is at a premium, but this is a prudent request. Because the trainer arranges for in-service meetings, serves as a TMS administrator, develops and/or modifies curriculum, performs literature research, maintains and updates SOPs, etc., as well as conducts one-to-one or small group classroom learning events, this space is essential. Be creative and persuasive when making this request.|
|Training focuses on providing knowledge and skills, it should not be in addition to management/supervisory oversight.||Although supervisors are also responsible for training their staff, the trainer is not in essence a supervisor. Prior to implementation, establish clear swim lanes for each role: supervisors, work leaders, and the trainer. This will provide an opportunity to discuss the roles in depth, what aspects differentiate them, and how they may overlap.|
Comments and replies are disabled for retired innovations and non-VA users.
Email Tammy.Splittstoesser@va.gov with questions about this innovation.
Training Instructor/ Env. Mngt. Services
Hi Alan, the Training Specialist is at a GS 9.
Congratulations on the successes. What grade is this Training Specialist? Thank you and keep up the great work.
Who are the 2 medical centers who have adopted this practice from Madison?
Madison VA (as the one who formally submitted this practice to the VA 2019 Shark Tank), and the Milwaukee VA. Lovell VA in Chicago is now also implementing, as are Birmingham VA Medical Center and VA northeast Ohio Healthcare System.