Learning at Work week at BEH with My Care Academy

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By Helen Kehoe  @Helsbels88
Joint Appointment lecturer in Mental Health and Practice Development lead, My Care Academy.

For the last 19 years The Campaign for Learning  has helped to organise the Learning at Work Week  annual event. This year’s Learning at Work Week takes place from 14 to 18 May. Every year it has a theme and this year’s theme ‘Networked for learning’ in particular was a great opportunity for My Care Academy to reach out to one of our target audiences, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey staff.

My Care Academy were invited by our partner BEH-MHT to help promote the Virtual Classroom modules we have created and the Knowledge Bank for bite sized learning.   Myself and @cameron_fiona attended the St.Ann’s site in Haringey and along with the BEH Learning and Development staff.  Different organisations had stands about training along with the  BEH L&D team showcasing all the development opportunities within the trust.   The company next to our stand was from the company Jobwise.  Fiona and I were early ‘owls’ and got their early to set our stand up at St Ann’s hospital ready to reach out to staff to share with them how they could easily improve their own learning and development.

Our MyCA Stand

We demonstrated My Care Academy to the staff who attended and encouraged them to sign up to our Knowledge Building community for sharing best practice and networking.  They were soon able to see how they could benefit from this platform to help collaborate on innovation ideas and stay up dated on news, events and research at home, at work or on the go. One of the Nurses we spoke to loved the flexibility of micro ‘learning when you need it’ especially to share knowledge with other colleagues in the trust and the partnership.

Once I’m home and the children are in bed, It’ll be great to log in and do some learning from my sofa’.

It was really positive feedback for us to hear as we know how busy mental health wards are – we were pleased to hear that busy Mums and Dads would find it a useful tool.

[Photographer – Helen Kehoe]

Some of the Nurses based at St. Ann’s who attended also showed enthusiasm when we discussed the connection between the NMC, revalidation, CPD hours and digital learning; using social media for reflective practice.  It was a common theme that many staff didn’t know how useful reading blogs, taking part in Twitterchats, professional forums and networks can be when it comes to revalidation.   The Learning at Work Week was really beneficial to remind staff that learning is continuous and can be achieved outside of the classroom. It was a useful to reminder to us and staff that not all learning is accredited or comes with a certificate yet it doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable – like learning leadership and collaboration skills.  With the help of My Care Academy we hope to help staff harness the power or bite sized learning when they need it and at their own pace so that they can drive and develop their own careers without having to take time away from busy wards.

The feedback from the day was very valuable and this helped us decide to focus on the power of online networks and learning as a workshop theme at the forthcomig Proud to be Different: Mental Health Nursing Conference at Middlesex University on 5th June. Jennifer Springham my colleague (@jlspringham2)  & I are looking forward to our workshop session on: ‘Bite-sized learning & Tweeting for CPD – Discover how with @MyCareAcademy’.  We’re keen to show Nurses how to use online resources and opportunities for CPD as we know many are unaware that this can help and also be useful for revalidation.  We’ll summarise the Proud event in a separate blog.

Feedback:

  • Meanwhile let us know your thoughts.
  • How do you currently revalidate or ensure you keep up your CPD?
  • Do you already use Twitterchats and forums to network and learn?

Or were you like Jenny not a fan of Twitter until recently?  If you’re a Twitter novice or would like to know more about how to use it effectively for learning make sure you read Jenny’s blog on why it’s a powerful tool for healthcare professionals >> http://mycareacademy.org/all/why-is-twitter-a-powerful-tool-for-healthcare-professionals-and-students/

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