Enhancing Medical Education: The Journey of Colors Method in Sterilization Center Training

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Discover how a playful, educational approach revolutionized continuous learning for a sterile processing department from a poster presented at the HSPA Conference 2024.

Alessandra M. Goncalves, Daiane G. Gomes Gois, Doir H. Sinigalhe, Jr, Alessandra de F. Bokor Manteiga, and Daniele A. Araujo Stuchi

Alessandra M. Goncalves, Daiane G. Gomes Gois, Doir H. Sinigalhe, Jr, Alessandra de F. Bokor Manteiga, and Daniele A. Araujo Stuchi

Health care workers and managers often discuss how to help the teams notice, learn, and remember the constantly changing information in the medical field.

Authors include Alessandra M. Goncalves, Daiane G. Gomes Gois, Doir H. Sinigalhe, Jr, Alessandra de F. Bokor Manteiga, and Daniele A. Araujo Stuchi, tackled this topic in the study they presented in a poster, “Journey of Colors: A playful and creative method of education at the Material and Sterilization Center,” at the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, from April 20 to April 23, 2024.

The authors noted that continuous education is vital for health care workers, including sterile processing technicians, because of the rapid change in medical information. Continuing education allows workers to increase their skills, acquire new knowledge, and ensure that all workers give quality care to their patients.

Purpose/Aim

The authors wrote, “The goal is to promote the continued education amongst the surgical ward professionals regarding obligatory procedures that are essential to the Material Sterilization Center in order to guarantee the quality of hospital processes and patient security.”

Methodology

The hospital implemented a multimedia and multichannel internal communication campaign, which lasted for 12 months, from January to December 2023. The campaign used the colors of the months, which are already recognized nationally, to symbolize different processes. These processes were divided into four quarters, in accordance with the workflow of the Materials Sterilization Center: Purge, Preparation, Sterilization, and Arsenal.

To engage employees, banners, videos, podcasts, and souvenirs were used, along with playful, light, and fun language during speeches. The authors of the campaign noted that the choice of form and language was crucial in facilitating the learning process and promoting employee engagement. The hospital implemented a multimedia and multichannel internal communication campaign, which lasted for 12 months, from January to December 2023. The campaign used the colors of the months, which are already recognized nationally, to symbolize different processes. These processes were divided into four quarters, in accordance with the workflow of the Materials Sterilization Center: Purge, Preparation, Sterilization, and Arsenal.

To engage employees, banners, videos, podcasts, and souvenirs were used, along with playful, light, and fun language during speeches. The authors of the campaign noted that the choice of form and language was crucial in facilitating the learning process and promoting employee engagement.

On their poster, they showed several brightly colored posters and electronics of their staff along with the information they wished others to remember.

Furthermore, visual elements have the distinctive power to convey information in an interesting, appealing, and unforgettable way, which results in a more effective retention of knowledge. The selection of themes was based on a survey conducted with nurses from the Material Sterilization Center and partner sectors to identify the most common flaws in the processes.

Discussion

This year, 2024, the hospital expanded the campaign to its other units throughout Brazil. Now it is easier for the hospital to distribute needed information, standardized protocols, and ensure a high standard of care.

Implications for Practice

Most importantly, the campaign addressed procedural errors, and those errors decreased during the campaign. The authors noted that the “videos and visual actions proved efficient and are remembered daily by employees.” One memorable example was the “fishbone” technique the Center uses to load machines. The technique was discussed using Nemo from the Finding Nemo movie.

Results

The authors wrote that the campaign showed promise, “especially for those directly involved in the processes. Employees debated the topics throughout the month and spontaneously shared campaign materials in conversation groups, in addition to using the banner as a background for photos on social networks.” The post authors also said that the participation rate was high in the surgical ward, including nurses, nursing technicians, doctors, engineers, administrative technicians, and managers.

Find other coverage from HSPA 2024 and previous years here.

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