Staff training

New training programme improving confidence and staff retention

A new cardiac physiology training programme at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is boosting skills, improving confidence, and helping to improve staff retention.

The 12-month Education Partnership Programme for Cardiac Rhythm Devices trains cardiac physiologists in cardiac rhythm management and is now recording promising results.

Trainees attend two days of training per month with sessions split between a half day doing face-to-face work and three half days doing online work. The programme is completed in conjunction with the participants’ clinical work, and now, the first four trainees have graduated from the course.

Alaina Yardley, Lead Cardiac Physiologist for Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices at Royal Papworth Hospital, said: “I wanted a dedicated training programme in place to nurture and grow our physiologists, so they become highly qualified and have job satisfaction.”

“This training time would be protected and was an integral part of their role, but we found that workforce constraints and capacity pressures made it difficult for us to release the trainees from their shifts to allow them to attend the training.”

“Historically we have been able to retain our staff on average for three years and at this point many have left to go to another service. The training and investment that we have invested to make them independent leaves with them. 

“Feedback suggests that the amount of training and education and the lack of dedicated time set aside for this was playing a significant part in the decision to leave.

“I believe this project has supported our strategic aim of enabling staff to fulfil their potential and is helping us achieve the goal to offer the best staff experience in the NHS, where employees can feel valued for their skills and engaged in their work. All of this has knock-on benefits for patients and the care and treatment they receive in our hospital.”

Despite originally intending on following the footsteps of her mum and becoming a neonatal nurse, Jainy Joemon, one of the first graduates of the training programme, is now excelling in her role as a healthcare scientist at Royal Papworth.

She said: “I really enjoyed the programme because I was a beginner in the world of devices and it has allowed me to achieve a solid foundation into cardiac rhythm management. Even though I hadn’t noticed it, several of my colleagues have told me that my knowledge has improved a lot from when I began which has boosted my confidence even more.

“When nursing didn’t work out for me I was searching what courses were around and quickly became drawn to healthcare science. Even though I am now on a different career path to my mum she is still my main role model; she was the one who introduced me into the world of medicine and caring for people.

“I think it’s very important to have role models and encourage more women to step into this field. In my three years here, cardiologists such as Dr Sarah Clarke, Dr Denise Braganza and Dr Claire Martin have made very big achievements in cardiology and inspired me, so I hope that is what I am now doing for others.

“I’ve already had a few students who have come to me personally asking me about my career and how I came to be where I am today, so I’m very proud of what I have achieved.”

More information on the new training programme is available here.

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