Job Instruction Will Save Your Life!
I recently attended an American Red Cross First Aid and CPR certification classes and all I could think about was Job Instruction.
First, this program was another example of a very personable content expert with shortcomings on instructional skills. Like many trainers in any environment, he did his best using the typical instructional paradigm: Talk, Demo, Use a Video, Student Tries, and move on to the next topic. Perhaps the root cause is the Red Cross trainer that certified this person as a trainer was not completely skilled as an instructor too.
Second, there is a lot of information to cover and it is set in a tight time requirement. How many times have we seen someone want the best of two worlds: complete training on content in the shortest amount of time?
Third, this seemed more like a cram session and the ability to thoroughly retain the information for more than one week seems doubtful. This is information that can potentially make a difference in an injured person’s life.
[Note, our instructor pretty much told us that the odds of us actually using these skills to save someone’s life are extremely low. Also, no matter what we do, we really can’t make things worse. REALLY?! Then why the heck am I here for the night classes?]
Hopefully, many of us will not need to use these skills until the next certification exam but it would be nice to retain this knowledge. I will be working on ‘refresher sessions’ with the team. Perhaps I’ll have them write some Job Breakdown Sheets of the training activities. It will certainly increase their knowledge retention by making a JBS as well as assist in the next class. Maybe it will motivate the instructor?
Fourth, the only way to understand the reasons for what we were doing was to ask probing questions.
Finally, there wasn’t a class survey or discussion about how to improve the course. Every training event has an opportunity for improvement, no matter how many times you have done it!
My actions are to follow up with the American Red Cross and share why I think they should consider apply Job Instruction. The good news is that they already have outstanding standardized procedures for applying CPR and First Aid. Also, most people probably want to follow those procedures exactly. You may hear in your assembly shop: “Yeah, but I like to build it this way.” I don’t think I have ever heard someone say “The Red Cross claims CPR should be done like that, but I like to do CPR this way.”
Don’t worry, if I see you in need of immediate care, I will be adequately prepared to assist.
Sean Jordan is Training and Development Manager at Biotek Instruments, Inc., in Colchester, Vermont.