Even done at the first instance, it

Even though a department is hard-pressed for work, induction must not be put off or postponed. If induction is not done at the first instance, it is unlikely to be done the next day or the next week. The chance will have been missed of giving the new member the interest in his or her job that comes from a clear sense of belonging to an organisation of which he or she wants to become a part of.

Hospitals have been slow to recognise the need for either formal instruction or on-the-job training. Most staff members on appointment have traditionally been left to themselves to find out how they should do their jobs.

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Technologies and work methods change for example, mops and pails have been superseded by floor washers and vacuum cleaners but the worker is just “let-loose” on his or her business, regardless.

Many heads of the departments are well aware that their staff need proper training, but are not sure where the responsibility lies for ensuring that they get it.

With constant pressures for service, little or no time is left for organisation of the training which would help to ensure a more effective staff member.

There is no job in the hospital for which some sort of training is not beneficial. For example, pharmacists, nurses, technicians, have already acquired their basic craft training before they take up a job.

Their immediate need will be to learn to adopt their knowledge and skills to the special requirements of the new hospital. Many of them, at intervals in their professional career, will also need refresher training and instruction in special aspects of their work.

This kind of training is now provided by various professional bodies. Now there are also available pro­grammes or courses, conferences, and seminars designed to keep up-to-date the knowledge and the skills of all types of workers.

There are signs that hospital is learning the importance of training for all types of staff at every level, at several points throughout their working life.

But there is still a lack of training in supervision and management. During their service, workers move up into supervisory and managerial posts, largely on the basis of their superior professional skills, without any sort of preparation for their new role.

The notion that running a department or section calls for appropriate attitudes, knowledge and skills is beginning to gain ground, but very slowly. There is also a strong case for introduction of training for hospital doctors in their management function at various stages of their career.