How Do You Share Knowledge/Skills With Your Colleagues

  1. Hi

    I'm an undergrad student and am currently working on a project relating to nursing. I was hoping that some of you could answer some questions about the topic of knowledge dissemination.

    - If you learn something new at work, do you usually share it with those co-workers that may also benefit from it?
    - If you learn a new skills, be it at a course or on the job, are you willing to or do you actively seek to teach your colleagues what you have learned?
    - If you want to acquire specific skills, how do you go about it? Does your employer provide a comprehensive education program? Do you privately take classes? Do you ever ask your co-workers to teach you?
    - How much opportunity do you thinkis there in nursing for on-the-job training?
    - Would you personally like the idea of sometimes being a coach or being coached? In particular if "coaching" is defined as a skills transfer between two mature professionals emphasizing practical aspects, vs teaching, which has more of a top-down/theoretical connotation.

    TIA for your kind help!
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    About ja_student

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   SionainnRN
    Just a heads up TIA is transient ischemic attack...probably not what you were going for.
  4. by   amoLucia
    I like training - as trainee or trainer. Staff devel is my fav position in LTC. I think it's just something you like or don't. And formally or informally, I like to help other staff. I'm more of a SHOW & tell person, than just a TELL person. It's easier for me to show you by walking you through a troubled IV pump tubing than just me explaining it.

    But training for the trainer is much more rewarding when the audience is inquisitive and receptive. Like if I get an impromptu request, from a newbie hanging around after her shift and she asks me to check out a problem suction setup, or a leaky GT. I'll show her all my 'tricks' of the trade and share all my pearls of wisdom to help her. Sometimes, I'll just get a request for advice or a second opinion.

    And I do better if you show me too. I guess I better fit your definition of COACH which I do like. I do so strongly believe that professionals should share knowledge, altho in our competetive employment envioronment, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

    OJT is difficult. Like mandatory inservice & orientation, it's freq one-way, top-down. They can be expensive for mgt, time consuming and at the whim of the clock & staffing. And then there's that bit about having a roster sign-in and content list. It's all so regulatory & stiff. Not to mention usually BOOOOORING for the captive audience. So much informal OJT occurs that never gets credited.

    Newbie or experienced staffer, there's just no telling who cares to learn. Some staff are eager for information; for others, not so. I seek out my own seminars and I'll pay for myself. I have the option of selecting my chosen topics. Much like CEUs & certs. Employers seem to be much more reluctant to cover costs unless there is some advantage in it for them.
  5. by   anotherone
    Depends on the coworker. I have encountered so many defensive, rude and unappreciative coworkers when all i wanted to do was help them by teaching the correct or more efficient way to do something ,that now i let most learn the hard way. or let the other coworkers tell management who is doing what wrong. unless i am precepting them or it is an immediate priority i might keep my mouth shut
  6. by   ja_student
    Thanks for all your responses.

    > So much informal OJT occurs that never gets credited.
    So, what if OJT could be "formalized" in a way? I put it in quotes, because formalizing usually implies a lot of red tape, but that's not what I'm aiming for. The thesis for my paper would be a system to harness the knowledge of the entire staff. I thought that one way to make better use of the gamut of expertise inside a health care organization would be to optimize skills transfer. From your feedback, I gather that one impediment to a more rapid transfer is that many co-workers simply aren't motivated to learn. Which in turn leads to what anotherone described. But what if there is an internal board, say, with two sections: Eager to Learn and Happy to Teach. It would make it easier for staff that want to learn from each other to find each other. It may even work across a health system to a certain degree. Do you think this would help?

    Once again, thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it.
  7. by   dudette10
    Nursing *is* OJT. Period. End of. Orientation can be hit or miss because no one, including the office nurses who are paid as educators, have written down very much. The simplest things, such as codes to med and supply rooms are handed over via verbal communication. As a former corporate monkey who often had to train new employees, nursing does a **** poor job of acclimating new hires and new grads to the environment and expectations because nothing is written down for others to learn from. Yes, we have policies and procedures, but there are unit specific things that must be taught also.On one unit I oriented to--a highly specialized unit--I just so happened to run across patient education materials that taught me everything I needed to know about the very unique medications given in that unit. It was never once offered to me as a new orientee. Why not???I find the whole thing very frustrating, as one whose training materials written a decade ago are still used to train new hires at my old job.New hire training packages should be a standard on all units. But they don't even exist.
  8. by   NurseGuyBri
    Anytime I learn something new, I make sure to share it because it not only helps them, it helps me. If my colleagues have better outcomes and results, we become a better team. Not everyone can, but it is possible.
    I do actively seek to teach others, I am a teacher at heart and i enjoy training so much. I'm probably biased on this one- Sharing knowledge with someone gives you personal gratification.
    When it comes to acquiring new skills, it is usually from different areas. Some are from work-related conferences, most are self study by buying and reading books. Also seeking out CEU programs has been a great help.
    LOTS of opportunity for on-the-job training, but the money factor holds back a lot.
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Coaching is a great tool to use in education, but it's not effective alone. Coaching comes from mentors, teaching from educators, and sharing from colleagues. All have their part and are important in professional success.
  9. by   HouTx
    I'm a verrryyyy experienced (sounds better than old, right?) non-academic nurse educator & is just warms my heart to encounter 'happy learners', especially those who are proselytizing. Yea us!!!

    But - there are some hard realities we have to deal with in the US. Any education mandated by your employer must be on 'paid time'. Labor budgets are continuing to shrink as providers try to figure out how to cope with ongoing decreases in reimbursement. In my organization, a 'quick' 30 minute inservice for all employees can suck $1.5m from our bottom line. We have to be very careful about determining exactly what education we will pay for these days. Mostly, it is anything that is required to do one's job. Extra stuff (nice to know, needed for career advancement, etc.) has to be on your own time.

    So, it's a Catch-22 situation. We (educators) continue to shake our (proverbial) pom-poms and encourage everyone to participate in as much education as possible... but employees think "if it is is so important, why aren't they paying us to do it?" We have to be more creative than ever. OJT is a great method, but not reliable unless it is structured & monitored to determine if objectives are being met. And you tend to get what I call the "wikipedia effect"... lots of people volunteering to share their expertise/vast knowledge .. without any validation that everything is actually correct. Sigh - wish I had answers instead of just more questions.