EXPLORE - Spring 2015 - (Page 8)

FEATUrE engAging And PrOPelling envirOnmentAl services Learning the Value of AHE Education A Q&A with Sandra Rials, MS; compiled by Heather Williams "Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela H ere at AHE, we want to change the world. Not in the overly dramatic way, but at our core, we want to ensure that all health care environments contribute to quality outcomes and healthy communities. Seems like quite the task, doesn't it? Well, we've got the tools and resources to help you succeed. By arming you, the AHE member, with the educational tools and resources you need, we're one step closer to helping communities all across the U.S.-and world-foster healthy environments that contribute to better health outcomes. AHE's mission is to be the to be the global authority on caring for the health care environment, and in order to provide its members with the practical tools and resources to achieve this mission, it's important that education and advancement of the profession be woven into AHE at its core. One of the strategic themes of the 20142016 AHE Strategy Map is to "Advance and Promote the Profession." A part of this theme includes providing professional development opportunities, and enhancing access to education and knowledge resources. AHE 8 www.ahe.org I EXPLORE I Spring 2015 is dedicated to providing industry-leading education and resources. To that end, it's also our duty to ensure you're aware of all the professional development opportunities you have at your fingertips as a member. ExPloRE magazine spoke with Sandra Rials, MS, AHE director of Education about ENGAGE, AHE's education platform. Q Who is responsible for the educational topics that AhE presents? Throughout the year, AHE's Education and Knowledge and Management (EKM) Committee meets to nominate and recommend topics that would be of prime interest to environmental services leaders. The committee is comprised of 20-25 health care professionals from across the country and from every care setting. This group has 'their fingers on the pulse' and 'their ear to the ground' in all things germane to this profession. Q how do you best serve members in your role as director of Education? My job is to create a rich learning environment for members-an environment with compelling content that engages environmental services leaders. Content that is interesting, relevant, timely, and useful. I see myself, along with members of the EKM Committee, as entrusted stewards of the professional development of a community who has arguably the most significant and underappreciated jobs in health care. I serve members by analyzing learning and information gaps, understanding current topics and issues in the profession, and then designing instructional materials to close those gaps. My job is to continually engage our members by delivering the absolute most valuable and compelling programs available-programs that excite, inspire, and challenge. Q What topics do members want to learn about most? Well, the tool we most often use to assist us in understanding what members want to learn is the survey tool, and we survey often-we survey online course and webinar participants, as well as EXCHANGE attendees. Consistently, what survey findings tell us is that members want to learn more about staffing-whether it is increasing productivity or establishing standards, or best practices related to hiring, engaging, motivating, and retaining staff-it's always an area of great interest. Overall, I'd say the top-five areas that consistently show up on surveys are: staffing, infection prevention and environmental hygiene, improving HCAHPS scores, laundry and textiles, and new technology. Q What types of education do you find most helpful for members? I think our members learn best and are engaged more thoroughly by learning through different offerings, platforms, and delivery options. For example, one of our current board members is an avid reader and an enthusiastic learner. He suggested that we offer podcasts to our members-an excellent and very timely suggestion that http://www.ahe.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EXPLORE - Spring 2015

Message from the President
Engaging and Propelling Environmental Services
Empowering Frontline Staff
Learning is Continuous
Leadership in Education
Five Creative Ways to Keep Training Engaging
Meet a CHESP
AHE News & Updates

EXPLORE - Spring 2015