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Adventures in Sleep

How Do You Motivate Staff Who Are Reluctant To Learn?

Published November 11, 2009 2:00 PM by Amy Reavis

I have pursued continuing education all my life. I graduated with my BA this past September. I regularly read many journals and bulletin boards about sleep. I forget sometimes that not everyone has this unending drive to learn more.

This was evident when I gave a booklet to my techs that would give them 3 CEUs to help meet the 10 required yearly. I left a note with the book asking that it be completed and returned so I could send in all the post tests at once and get the CEUs.

I personally thought it was great as the book covered more detailed information about some of the newer technology including PTAF and RIP technology. 

One technician, however, saw it as my wanting to punish him. He did not feel he needed to do any more CEUs because this is his second job and his first job also requires 10 CEUs and would count all his A-STEP and attended staff meetings. 

I tried to explain my view to him but I guess he does not have that same need to know as I have. 

The challenge for me is to motivate my staff to want to learn and if I can not, to try to find ways to work with them that will help them achieve their best. 

I find myself trying to remember that not everyone want to move up.  Some people define success in ways other than their career.  Many more see their jobs as a way of accomplishing other goals with their family and community.  That volunteering at church or in the scouts or just creating a beautiful garden at home is what motivates some. 

With this in mind I still asked him to do the CEUs but said I would look at some easier ways for him to achieve them in the future since this did not seem to be the best way for him to learn new things.


We recently created an educator position for our department and now invite various clinical experts to provide free CEU's for the department.  Additionally, we have reached out to physicians and nursing and provide education tailored to their needs.  This has helped build a level of respect for the department.  This newfound respect has helped motivate my staff to become more involved in education.  Especailly when a physician stops them and asks for more information or assistance with a new modality.  It also instills a sense of pride in the therapist because they are starting to be looked at as an expert in their field.

Michael Jones, Respiratory Care - Director, University Hospital June 26, 2012 10:35 AM
San Antonio TX

At our facility we have monthly meetings. I have personally made arrangements to have free CEU's with a lunch and have had poor attendance.  I have been making these arrangements for the last 4 years.  I have decided to let the staff fend for themselves at this point.

Patricia, Respiratory Care - Supervisor, Des Peres Hospital December 4, 2009 10:46 AM
Saint Louis MO

I personally would love to get into the sleep studies field. There are tons of jobs throughout the country for this profession. The catch 22 however, is that most places want people who are already registered. You can't sit for the exam unless you have several months on the job experience. How can you motivate employers to invest the time in training a motivated potential employee? If I were at your facility, I would jump at the chance to do free ceus. I am a registered respiratory therapist with 8 years hospital experience. I am currently training with the National Guard in an unrelated field,but I want to come back into  the field.

jones chantel November 25, 2009 10:03 AM
Anchorage AK

CEU's are a must if for nothing more than our job security!  We are grateful for our facility pays for our CEU's at the present.  The staff get excited about teaming together and discussing material covered.

I do not understand staff that do not consider the opportunity as a blessing.  

We need more than warm bodies!

just the way I feel about it.............

Autumn, cardiopulmonary - Director, Wayne General Hospital November 18, 2009 2:43 PM
Waynesboro MS

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    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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