Technician Training Tips: The Importance of Feedback and Evaluation
Publisher's Note: We're excited to repost this article, originally published by our partner, ATPO in their March 2016 monthly memo. Local Eye Site powers ATPO's Career Connection. The article is written by Jacqueline Pullos COMT, who has special expertise in this area. For employers looking to hire eye care technicians, we encourage you to read this article so that your eye care organization can prepare for the time and resources needed to develop successful employees after they are hired.
Feedback and evaluations are essential to successful training, and should be in both directions: from Trainer to Trainee and from Trainee to Trainer. This article focuses on feedback for the trainer.
Formal vs. Informal Evaluations
Whether you use a formal evaluation, or informally query your trainees, constructive feedback is essential. Many trainers use a combination of both, soliciting verbal feedback during the training, and asking for a formal evaluation at the end of it.
Setting the Stage for Honest Feedback
From the first day of training, let the trainees know that you will be asking for feedback during the training process. Let your trainees know that your goal is to deliver training in a manner that is effective for them. Explain to them that their comments and suggestions help you succeed as a trainer, and ultimately improve training for others.
Ask for the following feedback, during training:
- Am I spending adequate time on the concept/skill?
- Are your questions being answered before we move on?
- Are the activities/assignments helping you learn the material?
- Do you have suggestions that would make this training better in the future?
Feedback After the Technician is Working Independently
Feedback from the entire team, after a technician is functioning independently in clinic, is arguably the most important information you can obtain. This is how you will learn if your training has been effective and practical. I recently queried our Cornea team:
“In what areas do you feel our new techs need to be trained, or better trained, before working in the Cornea Clinic?”
The answers I received from physicians, the senior technicians, and the newly trained technicians were similar. All mentioned the need for more advanced refractometry skills. Since all three groups mentioned the same thing, I know this is a gap in my training program, and I can now make sure I spend more time on this piece with the next group.
Constructive feedback will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of your training. Use this information to improve your program and your techniques. Remember, the Trainer and the Trainee are a team – each helping the other succeed.
If your practice is looking to hire an Ophthalmic Technician then Local Eye Site is the resource for you! Reach thousands of experienced and certified technicians through our partnership with ATPO and JCAPHO.