Effective internal training

The need for an effective internal training program with an ongoing staff evaluation process cannot be emphasised enough.

As healthcare practices that are regularly servicing a medical aid and private patient market, it is essential that all staff members, from paramedics to call centre staff and administration staff take careful note of the fact that we are not only caring for the physical needs of our patients, but that we are also caring for their emotional needs. In addition to the care that we provide to patients, EMS staff also provide a supportive function to the friends and family of those that are ill or injured, and provide an authoritative function at the scene of a medical emergency.

During all of these duties it is essential that staff remain calm, professional, and understanding. Staff must remain mindful at all times that they are seen as brand ambassadors for their employer. Staff should wear clean and presentable uniforms, take pride in their appearance, set a positive example, and ensure that they conduct themselves in a manner that is polite and professional.

As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that your staff understand that these are their roles and responsibilities, and that they understand your expectations as an employer as well the expectations of patients and members of the public.

Internal training is essential to meet these goals and should take place at least once a month with the majority, if not all, of your staff members. Your training regime should follow a formal schedule, with different topics to be covered during each training session. Material should be prepared ahead of each session, in order to ensure that you obtain maximum value from these training opportunities.

Instead of talking to your staff, talk with your staff. Engage your staff in the conversation, as if it were a forum discussion. This allows both you and your staff to address the pros and cons of certain behaviour, appearances, and mannerisms. By including your staff in the conversation, you will ensure that the staff retain more of the material that was discussed, as well as participate in contributing to the problem solving and development process.

It is also important that you conduct regular and ongoing quality checks to ensure constant adherence to company policy. Check staff uniforms on a daily basis. Conduct regular follow-up calls with hospital staff, doctors, and family members to get feedback on staff conduct. Check your social media accounts on a daily basis for both positive and negative feedback in order to take the necessary action when appropriate, and provide feedback to your valued clients and stakeholders.

Quality customer service and a positive brand image cannot be emphasised enough in the growth and development of your private ambulance service. These items may seem trivial, but they are often the major unseen stumbling blocks that are involved in the downfall of many private ambulance practices over the years.

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