Education Matters

Planting the Seeds of Education Innovation

If you have found your way to this blog, you are probably already aware of the renewed commitment to education that is underway at Sunnybrook.

As an academic health sciences centre, Sunnybrook has a mandate that goes beyond providing the highest standard of clinical care to our patients. We are committed to creating, translating, and integrating new knowledge into patient care, education, and research. We take seriously the idea that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. In fact, it is likely that it was this active learning environment that drew you to Sunnybrook in the first place.

However, in the midst of all of our activities related to patient care, the business of health care, research, and teaching, it is easy to overlook the idea that that practice of education itself is a focus for research and innovation. Part of our renewed mandate as an academic health sciences centre includes a sharper focus on development, implementation, and dissemination of best practices in clinical education.

There are many excellent and innovative education activities going on at Sunnybrook. Some of these have emerged out of necessity, some reflect the natural talents and instincts of our staff and physicians, and some are the result of focused and deliberate scholarly activity. It is important that we profile these activities, not only within Sunnybrook, but in the larger community. Equally important is the need to explore in a systematic way, how and under what circumstances these approaches are effective.

In our day-to-day work, each of us encounters multiple opportunities to be both a teacher and a learner – working with a student, assisting a new staff member to “learn the ropes”, encountering a job situation that is unfamiliar or unique. As committed lifelong learners, we typically approach these situations using our individual tried-and-true approaches. However these situations can also present opportunities to push ourselves to try something a little different.

Perhaps you’ve noticed patterns in the way different patients respond when you explain routines and procedures. You may have found that you and your colleagues have different ideas about the best way to introduce a new procedure, teach new staff, or master a technical task.

Pay attention to your reflections and hunches. Share them with your colleagues. These are the seeds of education scholarship.

Imagine the possibilities…

Marg Blastorah, RN, PhD

Director, Nursing Knowledge, Research and Innovation

About the author

Education Team

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