Quiz, education credit tied to reading fact sheets

Just the facts, ma’am

Carolina Community Care of Forest City, NC, had a problem coordinating schedules of its 100 to 120 employees for frequent inservices. So the agency’s education manager came up with a solution that would serve as a brief educational tool and save time and money. She created fact sheets with a quiz for which the staff could receive educational credit. (See fact sheets, inserted in this issue and quizzes, pp. 145-146.)

"We have found that by doing the fact sheets, we can at least give them little pieces of information that hopefully they will absorb," says Joannie Jolley, RN, director of performance improvement and education for Carolina Community Care, a nonprofit, hospital-based agency that serves the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.

The fact sheets are written simply and succinctly. Jolley started last year with eight different sheets about the home care standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. These were distributed in preparation for a Joint Commission survey. "Trying to get all the information about the standards to all the employees was a tremendous job," Jolley says. But she succeeded, and the agency passed its survey with flying colors.

The staff had two extra incentives to carefully read the Joint Commission fact sheets:

• First, they were given 30 minutes of inservice time if they read the sheet and returned their quiz answers.

• Second, the employees who turned in their quiz answers could put their names in a drawing for prizes, which included candy, $10-$15 gifts, and a clock radio.

Jolley even set up times when the staff could meet to discuss the fact sheets, while enjoying juice and cookies. While the meetings weren’t mandatory, Jolley says, they gave employees a chance to sit down and answer each other’s questions about the fact sheets. "Some people miss the interaction," she adds.

The fact sheets worked so well that Jolley decided to produce more on different inservice topics. "I asked the staff for input about what they would like for education next year, and from that list I wrote the fact sheets," Jolley says.

She’s written fact sheets on safety, lyme disease, first aid, hepatitis, respiratory conditions, advance directives, restraints, abuse and neglect, kidneys and the urinary system, the digestive system, and diabetes. The sheets are stapled to employees’ pay stubs so they can’t miss them. And sometimes Jolley places a copy on a bulletin board.

So far, compliance on the fact sheet quizzes, which are not mandatory, has been about 80%, which is her goal. Sometimes she’ll call employees to remind them that they haven’t turned in their quiz answers and might fall short on their inservice hours.

Jolley collects information from every source she can find and adds quotes and daily tips to keep them interesting. For example, the cover fact sheet on the urinary system includes a quote from Dolly Parton: "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

[Editor’s note: Joannie Jolley, RN, Director of Performance Improvement and Education, can be reached at Carolina Community Care, 212 Allendale Drive, Forest City, NC 28043. Telephone: (704) 245-3575.

To contribute to Tips From the Field,contact: Melinda Young, Editor of Homecare Education Management, at P.O. Box 1024, Tryon, NC 28782. Telephone: (704) 859-2066. Fax: (704) 859-5954.]