Rural long-term care facilities bring in outside educators to boost staff skills
Guardian Healthcare supports workforce engagement through ongoing skin and wound care education
By Medline Newsroom Staff | January 5, 2022
This article is part of a series focusing on workforce engagement in post-acute care. The Medline Newsroom will feature interviews with healthcare leaders to discuss their approach to investing in long-term programs that help empower their staff and present them with intuitive tools to provide high quality care.
In the annual McKnight’s “Mood of the Market Survey, “more training or learning opportunities” ranked among the most important for personal workplace satisfaction, after more staff and better compensation. In 2021, Medline signed 950-plus new customer contracts for its Post-Acute Skin Health Solutions Program. From best practice guidance to staff training, the comprehensive approach empowers clinicians to put prevention first to help make optimal skin health second nature.
Medline spoke with Guardian Healthcare to learn more about what they are doing to support workforce engagement through ongoing skin and wound care guideline education. The organization has created in-person skills fairs for five of its rural long-term care locations to bring educators and training directly to staff.
Guardian Healthcare is a privately owned healthcare organization providing services to communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Today, Guardian has over 4,500 skilled nursing, personal care, and independent living units. Since the company’s inception in 1995, Guardian has grown to 56 skilled nursing communities.
“Each one of our buildings experienced a COVID-19 outbreak,” said Lori Shiskowski, Guardian Healthcare’s executive director of quality initiatives and clinical education. “Residents were in their rooms in isolation for an extended period of time which sparked an uptick in pressure injuries. Since staff education was pushed aside a bit during these outbreaks, we decided to ramp up skin and wound care health to get everyone up to speed.”
To make skin health and advanced wound care education accessible, Guardian Healthcare with the help of Medline’s clinical support team, created traveling skills fairs to bring educators directly to staff. The goal of the fairs was to look at skin from a holistic approach by incorporating expert guidance on correct product usage to help standardize care and offer best practice training on issues that can impact skin health, such as off-loading and infection control.
To date, clinical educators have trained more than 200 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses on skin and wound care guidelines.
“We found that the skills fairs were an excellent solution to getting staff on board, and in-person training brought staff together to share ideas,” said Shiskowski. “All of them wanted to do a good job and provide optimal care. Bringing the educators directly to them saved them time and gave them new skills. We haven’t experienced any push back and plan to provide more skills fairs for continued workforce education and engagement.”