“Lunch,” said Tan Tock
Seng Hospital’s (TTSH) Senior Radiographer,
Mr Chong Chun Meng, was the “best” time to conduct the ‘lunch-and-learn’ professional
development workshop for 130 National Healthcare Group (NHG) radiographers.
Mr Chong, who
spearheaded the workshop, said that it was the opportune moment to conduct the
workshops, as a large pool of radiographers congregate at TTSH during the one-hour lunch break. And to ensure that the
one-hour window was maximised, he included lunch to save the radiographers from
having to get their own. “That was how it became ‘lunch-and-learn’,” he added.
by TTSH Education Director, Associate Professor Tham Kum Ying, the ‘lunch-and-learn’ workshop
was created to help upscale
the clinical knowledge and teaching abilities of its pool of radiographers, which centred on a variety of topics such as teaching
pedagogies, approaches and engagement methods.
radiographers were willing to teach, just that there was a knowledge gap,” said Mr Chong. The radiographers knew
that they possess the clinical skills, but lacked teaching skills, he added.
“That’s the gap we were trying to fill.”
Determining the course(s) to send the radiographers to was the
easy part, scheduling them for it was the challenge. “External courses were
available, however it does not run on a weekly basis,” Mr Chong said. He
explained that even if weekly courses were available, and four radiographers
were to attend each week, it would take over a year to cover all 130
radiographers. Hence, it made more sense to Mr Chong that the Department of
Diagnostic Radiology (DIR) designed and conducted its own in- house workshops.
With the help
of NHG Polyclinics Nurse Educator, Ms Christie Anna, Mr Chong received access
to a wealth of resources: Ms Anna’s professional development training
expertise; and existing training materials from the nursing department, which
he easily adapted and contextualised to radiography.
To better shape the content to
meet the learning needs of the radiographers, Mr Chong collaborated with the
education research arm of NHG Education, HOMER (Health Outcomes and Medical Education Research), to identify the key shortfalls in the radiographers’
teaching approach and methods. This helped ensure that the shortfalls were
addressed during the workshop, and the content
the one-hour timeslot was insufficient for the radiographers to digest the
information, Mr Chong engaged the assistance of NHG College to condense the
training materials into six
“bite-sized” parts, which would allow for effective learning to take place, and
most importantly, the application of the concepts into daily practice.
‘lunch-and-learn’ workshop was well-received
amongst the radiographers. Mr Chong noticed that upon
completing the workshop, the
radiographers now know how to develop and apply different approaches in their
teachings; breaking the lessons, tasks or concepts down into specific parts
which would aid the students learning and progression.
Two of the most noticeable changes were the increase in positive student
feedback on the radiographers’ teachings, and radiographer-student engagement.
Some of the returning students shared that “the radiographers’ attitudes
towards teaching is different”, said
Mr Chong. “We are getting a lot more
feedback from the students like, ‘the radiographers asked me questions on how I
think about a certain case, and how I actually make sense of certain things’,” he shared. “The students are
writing down more of the desired kind of behaviour that we (DIR) want, and what
we hope to achieve with good educators.”
outcome from the ‘lunch-and-learn’ series was the increased interest to teach
amongst the radiographers. As of now, seven
radiographers have volunteered and signed up to be clinical educators for the new Diagnostic
Radiography undergraduate programme at the Singapore Institute of Technology.
a clear understanding of what a teacher is now. What they need to teach, what
the students need to learn, and how the students learn,” said Mr Chong. He
added that with the success of the ‘lunch-and-learn’ workshop, there may be
plans to integrate it into future on-boarding programmes for incoming
radiographers. “The new radiographers need to know that when they enter the
department, they are expected to teach. And we want to equip them with the
right tools right from the start,” he concluded.