AORN Blog - The Periop Life

How to Infuse Fun Into Your Next In-Service

How to Infuse Fun Into Your Next In-Service

October 25, 2018     

Attracting busy perioperative nurses to spend time in training can be a challenge, yet in-service education provides important and often required knowledge.

Julie Mower, MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR—a veteran perioperative educator for Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI)—says PowerPoint slides may not always be the best way to communicate information.

So what do you do? Here are three ideas to infuse a little fun into your trainings to get your audience’s attention and help improve knowledge retention.

1. Start Strong with a Brain Buster

These are quick mental agility exercises such as unscrambling a word or completing a math puzzle to get your audience settled in and ready to learn. Some people also call them brain teasers or brain puzzles.

Here is a sample brain buster Mower uses. She adds a prize to tempt her learners to arrive on time.

See if it gets your attention…

Choose a number between 1 and 10.
Multiply the number by 5.

If it’s a two-digit number add both digits.

Now determine which letter of the alphabet corresponds to that number, a=1, b=2, etc…

Think of a country that starts with that letter.

Take the last letter of the name of the country and think of an animal that starts with that letter.

Remember the last letter in the name of your animal and then think of the name of a fruit that starts with this letter.

What is the name of your country, animal and fruit?

2. Make a Smooth Transition Into Your Content

This quick little intro that has nothing to do with perioperative care can be bridged into fruitful learning. Say you are teaching the group about following correct hand washing practices, Mower suggests this connection:

“98% of people who take this brain buster will answer: Denmark, kangaroo, orange … last month only 44% of our perioperative staff practiced correct hand hygiene before caring for a patient.”

Now you’ve captured your audience with a fact about what is happening in their practice setting so you can engage them in a learning activity.

3. Put Participants to Work

Task each participant with bringing a relevant research article to discuss during the education session.

You can also split your group up into smaller teams (which they may protest but will actually end up liking) to each learn about one step in a safety practice you are educating them on and then share with the whole group.

Ready to become an in-service pro? Learn more from Mower and other expert educators at the Professional Educator, Perioperative Certificate of Mastery pre-conference program April 5 before AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo in Nashville gets underway.