15 May 2019

Learning at work week: Shaping the future

At Newcross, we believe in the importance of continuous learning and development.

It’s Learning at Work Week. What better way to mark the occasion than to catch up with a couple of our fabulous Newcross clinical trainers? Read our Q&A with clinical trainer, Rainey Spencer-Taylor, and clinical trainer for Scotland, Gail McAdam, to find out why they think continued professional development is so important in today’s ever-changing world of work...

So, how did you get into learning & development? 

RST I was an HCA for around 20 years and started off in an 11-bed residential home. I quickly fell in love with my job. Giving back and making people feel wanted and needed is incredibly important to me. That was the reason I joined Newcross: I wanted to join an organisation that gave back and treated their staff with the respect they deserved.

Although I started off as an HCA at Newcross, I was quickly snapped up for the associate trainer role. I did this for nine months and then applied for the clinical trainer job. I absolutely love it. It feels so natural to coach and share information with people. It’s incredibly rewarding to see these people develop and go back into the world sharing their new and improved skills and knowledge.

GM: I’m actually a nurse by trade. I have over 35 years’ experience as a Learning Disability nurse. Before Newcross, I worked in a hospital for around 18 years. So that I could work agency side, I was told I needed more experience of working with older people and so spent 10 years working in a care home in Falkland. This offered a brilliant learning platform.

I joined as a staff nurse, then was promoted to charge nurse, deputy manager and manager. I hadn’t meant to stay that long, I just relished the challenge. I stepped down to join Newcross. The role in training was a natural extension of all the experience I’d gathered along the way. I’ve always enjoyed sharing my learning with others.

Why is learning and, more importantly, continued professional development so important today?

GM The care sector is continually evolving so just to remain compliant you need to continue your training. It’s amazing how quickly practices and policies change. We always need to be refreshing our course content and learning ourselves, even as trainers…

RST You mustn’t become complacent. You’re never, ever done learning new skills. Learning is hugely important and, the best thing is, we can all learn at any stage of our careers and at a pace that suits us. This is what makes our jobs as trainers so interesting.

What one thing would you like our staff to take away from reading this article and Learning at Work Week?

RST It’s your responsibility to keep on top of training for the good of service users and clients everywhere. If you learn something new every day it can make a huge difference to the person you’re looking after. For example, if they use Makaton, showing them you understand their language (even if it’s just a few basic words) could make all the difference, building strong bonds between you. It could even result in them choosing to come to you for support more often than anyone else; all because you made that extra bit of effort.

GM Put your learning into practice and show everyone out there what you know and the expertise you have. Share the learning and information with one another, even client colleagues. Feel free to show people. All you need to do is say, ‘I think I know a better way, can I show you?’. Don’t shy away. You’re well equipped. This very act will go a long way to boosting your, and our, credibility and increasing future bookings.

You train our staff in a wide range of courses here at Newcross. Which one, if you could choose any, would you recommend our staff take and why?

RST Velocity course (HCA Meds, Epilepsy and Basic Life Support all in one day). I would have no hesitations in recommending this course to anyone. The course opens their eyes to lots of things. The training covers how to administer meds and if anything goes wrong it equips you with the skills to handle it. Plus, rescue meds ensures you can treat people having seizures. The course costs £50 (5000 training credits).

Rainey is based in Leicester branch and has been a clinical trainer for two years delivering training across the middle swathe of the country. Gail has been a Newcross trainer for three years, developing skills across Scotland and to northern parts of England.

This year the Learning at Work Week 2019 campaign is focusing on ‘Shaping the future’. Tell us how your learning is shaping you and your future. Simply send us a photo of you learning at work and your story to marketing@newcrosshealthcare.com.