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Instructional design: how it can empower healthcare workers?

Dr Sumedha Kushwaha

The covid pandemic brought healthcare workers on the first line of defence and their role emerged crucial during the testing times. Thus, educating and training healthcare workers in an efficient manner becomes all the more crucial. Instructional design is a process that can significantly impact creating effective learning experiences that promote comprehension, engagement and retention of information. This article explores how instructional design can be used to enhance learning, specifically in healthcare, and its significance in low-middle-income countries.

More effective learning

The instructional design aims to create effective and efficient learning experiences that enable learners to achieve their goals. This is achieved through a step-by-step process that involves identifying learning objectives, designing content and activities that align with these objectives, and evaluating the effectiveness of the instruction.

Traditional teaching systems often rely on a one-size-fits-all approach that may not cater to individual learning needs and styles. In contrast, instructional design recognizes the unique needs of each learner and provides feedback and guidance throughout the learning process. By breaking down complex information into manageable pieces, instructional designers can ensure that learners understand and retain the information presented.

Use of instructional design in healthcare and education

Instructional design is beneficial in healthcare and education, where it can help ensure that training is effective, efficient, and tailored to meet the unique needs of learners.

In healthcare, instructional design can help healthcare workers understand complex medical concepts and procedures. By setting clear learning objectives, instructional designers can ensure that the training focuses on the most critical information and skills. Healthcare workers need to practice their skills and receive feedback on their performance to improve. Instructional designers can create opportunities for learners to practice and receive feedback and assessments to measure their knowledge and skills.

Multidimensional healthcare training

Healthcare workers often require training on a broad range of topics, including patient safety, infection control, and medical terminology. Instructional designers can use a variety of tools and techniques to make this content more engaging and interesting, such as animations, simulations, and case studies. These interactive and immersive learning experiences enable healthcare workers to retain and apply information in real-world situations.

Instructional Design in Low-Middle-Income Countries

Due to resource constraints, instructional design is becoming increasingly important in training healthcare professionals in low-middle-income countries (LMICs). LMICs often have limited resources for training and education and face challenges such as high patient volumes and low salaries. Practical training can help increase job satisfaction, engagement, and retention, leading to a more stable healthcare workforce.
By using instructional design systems, healthcare organizations can create effective and efficient training programs tailored to the needs of learners. Healthcare workers in LMICs face complex healthcare challenges, such as infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, and inadequate healthcare infrastructure. Practical training can help healthcare workers provide better care and improve patient outcomes, reducing medical errors, improving patient safety, and increasing patient satisfaction.

Instructional design is crucial in creating high-quality educational and training materials that help people acquire new knowledge and skills in a meaningful and engaging way. Healthcare workers need to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advances and best practices, and instructional design systems can help create a culture of continuous learning.

Ultimately, teaching is not just a job but also a noble calling with the power to shape the future. With the instructional design, educators and trainers can effectively impart knowledge, empower learners, and positively impact society.

The author is based in Toronto, Canada, and works as a researcher for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.

(Views expressed above, solely belong to the author)

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