​​Empowering Aged Care: Innovations in Education and Training​

​​Catherine Scott​

​​Sundale Ltd​

​​Learning is gaining knowledge and skills through study, experience, or instruction. In clinical education and learning, we refer to activities that enhance healthcare professionals' knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide effective and safe care in a changing healthcare environment.

​As the need for aged care communities continues to grow, there is a significant demand to invest in developing the workforce's knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet current and future requirements. To achieve this, we must focus on education, training, and learning that bridges the gap between theory and practice, all within a well-evaluated and outcome-oriented framework.

​A thoughtful approach to clinical education and learning aims to create an environment of ongoing learning, allowing staff to explore new ways of working and align their knowledge and skills with the evolving demands of their roles.

​This approach has a mission:

  • ​Foster a shared commitment among managers, clinical educators, and clinicians to support education and training, ensuring it is well-resourced and based on evidence.
  • ​Develop education programs that are evidence-based and interdisciplinary, reflecting person-centred healthcare.
  • ​Collaborate with consumers and their families to incorporate their knowledge and experiences into improving care through education.
  • ​Strengthen partnerships with educational institutions to quickly apply evidence-based practices and evaluate innovative models to benefit the broader clinical education community.

​Creating and maintaining a high-quality learning environment is crucial for providing contemporary and safe healthcare. Such an environment enables staff to deliver evidence-based care and learn from clinical incidents, aligning to become a "high reliability" organisation.

​Taking a stance on clinical education and learning support is essential to equip staff to deliver safe, effective, consumer and family-centred care now and in the future. A focus on education, training, and learning is applied at the point of care, using various teaching methods that enable a seamless transition from learning to practice within a robust evaluation and outcome-focused context.

​This approach proposes five key goals for providers to consider: 

  • ​Align education and learning activities with the organisation's care model and objectives. 
  • ​Demonstrate a strong commitment to education and learning. 
  • ​Create collaborative, evidence-based, interdisciplinary learning environments. 
  • ​Strengthen partnerships to promote a culture of continuous learning. 
  • ​Implement what is learned into best practices. 

*The views and opinions expressed in Knowledge Blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ARIIA, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

  1. ​Fitzpatrick JM, Bianchi LA, Hayes N, Da Silva T, Harris R. Professional development and career planning for nurses working in care homes for older people: A scoping review. Int J Older People Nurs. 2023;18(1):e12519. doi: 10.1111/opn.12519.
  2. ​Main PAE, Anderson S. Evidence for continuing professional development standards for regulated health practitioners in Australia: A systematic review. Hum Resour Health. 2023;21(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s12960-023-00803-x.
  3. ​Nordquist J, Hall J, Caverzagie K, Snell L, Chan MK, Thoma B, et al. The clinical learning environment. Med Teach. 2019;41(4):366-372. doi: 10.1080/0142159x.2019.1566601.
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