Education doesn’t end when you leave the classroom.
Our providers are constantly learning to improve themselves and the care that they offer, and they’re passing that education on to the skilled nursing teams that they partner with every day. All our providers are not just healers, they’re teachers.
And just like we’re constantly improving our sutures or our dressings or our patient interactions, it’s important to work on our teaching skills, too. Here are five great ways to level up your teaching game right away, and to build teamwork and rapport with your colleagues.
1. Bring a positive attitude.
Negative energy zaps creativity and it makes a nice breeding ground for fear of failure. Good teachers have an upbeat mood, a sense of vitality and energy, and see past momentary setbacks to the end goal. Positivity breeds creativity. Some days are tougher than others, especially in medicine, but if you can really strive to bring a positive attitude, it will impact your team AND your patients!
2. Reflect on your interactions, your teaching methods, and your delivery.
The most successful educators take time to reflect on their methods, their delivery, and the way they connect with their students. Reflection is necessary to uncover those weaknesses that can be strengthened with a bit of resolve and understanding. Think about the last several interactions you had with your colleagues - how did those go? What could you have improved? What seemed to work well?
3. Be able to live without immediate feedback.
There is nothing worse than sweating over a plan or an approach, only to have people walk away without so much as a smile or a, “Thank you!” It’s hard to give 100% and not see immediate results. Teachers who rely on that instant gratification will get burned out and disillusioned. Learning, relationships, and education are a messy endeavor, much like nurturing a garden. It takes time, and some dirt, to grow.
4. Seek out a teaching mentor of your own.
Maybe this person isn’t even in the field of medicine, but find a mentor who can help you become a better teacher. Mentors can be that voice that says, “Yes your reflections are correct,” or “No, you are off because….” and provide you with a different perspective. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
5. Deliberately enjoy your work.
It is easy to spot a teacher who finds joy in what he or she does. They seem to emanate contagious energy, and makes the subject comes alive. If you don’t love your work or are feeling low, it will come through in your teaching. Try to figure out why you feel so unmotivated and uninspired. Remind yourself why you do what you do, lean on your support system, and find the joy in your work that makes it worthwhile, and then communicate that in your teaching. You’ll find you reach people more effectively than ever before!
Skilled Wound Care is a mobile surgical practice committed to transforming the chronic wound care model in nursing facilities. Wound care experts make weekly bedside visits to patients in long-term care facilities, avoiding transfers to hospitals or clinics. Our expert physicians give patients the most up-to-date and effective wound treatments, and educate facility staff on how to help patients continue to heal quickly and effectively between visits. This model of collaborative care allows SWC’s physicians to improve patients’ lives and health outcomes, to empower nursing staff, and to raise public awareness. Skilled Wound Care, along with its nurse and nursing home partners, is working every day to positively transform traditional nursing home wound care.