Training and Development in Health Care


People tend to talk about the importance of education saying that this is the necessary basis for people’s humanity. When it comes to health care, education becomes even more meaningful as it ensures that people will get proper treatment. Admittedly, future health care professionals have to develop a variety of competencies while studying at colleges and universities. Moreover, health care professionals have to constantly develop their competencies throughout their careers. This will ensure their effectiveness and the effectiveness of the entire system. This is why it is crucial to be able to assess the effectiveness of each employee. There are quite many ways to evaluate the effectiveness of health care staff as well as training. The present paper dwells upon some of the ways to evaluate training effectiveness.

Why Education Is Vital

However, it is still important to identify precise reasons for the importance of education and training in healthcare. Hodges and Lingard (2012) note that the profession of a doctor has evolved steadily throughout centuries and its development rocketed in the twentieth century. Thus, the researchers depict the doctor as a hero “galloping” on his horse to save lives carrying out an operation on a kitchen table (killing lots of patients due to unsanitary conditions) in the early twentieth century (Hodges & Lingard, 2012, p. 17). Clearly, such health care treatment is in the past and health care professionals possess the necessary facilities to provide proper healthcare services. However, students should be able to use the facilities and methods available. Admittedly, medical students have to acquire much more knowledge and much-varied skills.

At the same time, it is not enough to get the necessary basis and become a high-profile health care professional. The development of science and technology enables health care professionals to exploit a variety of methods and state-of-art equipment. Each day, new and advanced methods appear. Health care professionals have to keep up and training helps them be up-to-date.

The Importance of Measuring Competencies

Irrespective of the availability of new and more sophisticated methods of treatment, some health care professionals can fail to exploit them. In any other field, the inability to use the latest advances can remain unnoticed for a long time. However, in health care, any mistake can cost a human’s life. Apart from direct competencies associated with everyday operations, each health care employee’s cultural competence should be trained (Hodges & Lingard, 2012). Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate and measure health care staff’s competencies in a variety of fields.

This will enable the health care system to function properly. The evaluation will help identify existing gaps and fill them. Thus, health care professionals will be able to develop and acquire new skills to be high-profile employees. It is also necessary to note that health care is a field where employees should remain competitive. Being well-informed is one of the ways to be competitive.

Tracking and Evaluating Training Effectiveness

It has been acknowledged that training is seen as one of the ways to develop health care professionals’ competencies. At the same time, it has been estimated that “$1.3 billion in health workforce training grants have been spent” (Ducey, 2009, p. 76). According to Ducey (2009), investment in health care professionals’ training is being increased each year, but the quality of health care services does not increase at such a pace. Logically, many people question the effectiveness of training. Therefore, evaluating training effectiveness comes to the fore.

One of the commonest ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a training course is to implement certain tests at the end of the course. However, Bashook (2005) notes that instructor-made tests are often unreliable and do not evaluate health care professionals’ knowledge or skills appropriately (Bashook, 2005). Simulations are much more effective as they help health care professionals apply the acquired skills. Bashook (2005) stresses that health care professionals have to make a variety of decisions each day. Thus, evaluation of the effectiveness of a training course can be held in a form of simulation or role-playing.

However, simulations are still too formal and can be only a part of the assessment. The final aim of any training is the improvement of services provided. Hence, it is essential to assess everyday work. This is a more time-consuming method, but it is more accurate.

This assessment can include several stages. Patients and/or their relatives can complete brief questionnaires. These questionnaires will be processed by human resources professionals. Besides, health care professionals can assess each other’s performance. They can analyze some cases and be present during some procedures. Employees will provide short reports. Importantly, each employee’s performance will be assessed by several (at least two) employees separately. This will ensure the reliability of the assessment.


To sum up, it is necessary to note that health care has evolved considerably and health care professionals possess a variety of advanced methods to treat patients. Advances in technology and medicine make education and training vital. It is also important to note that health care professionals obtain the necessary training, but some question its effectiveness. Assessment and evaluation of training become crucial as it helps health care professionals fill the gaps in their knowledge. Thus, health care professionals are able to self-develop and become more competitive.

Reference List

Bashook, P.G. (2005). Best practices for assessing competence and performance of the behavioral health workforce. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 32(5/6), 563-592.

Ducey, A. (2009). Never good enough: Health care workers and the false promise of job training. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Hodges, B.D., & Lingard, L. (2012). The question of competence: Reconsidering medical education in the twenty-first century. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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