Whether you watched proudly as a loved-one graduated or you participated in a conference, workshop, or other training program, education has been front and center in our lives over the past two months. When we reflect on education in the workplace, we tend to weigh the tangible and intangible reasons to invest in employee growth and education. Last week in Omaha, Neb., 81 attendees from ABC member centers participated in the very successful ABC Technical and Quality (TD/QA) Workshop.
This workshop, which focuses on the latest in innovations, process improvements, and hot topics in the blood banking industry, is known for the educational opportunity it provides blood center technical and quality directors to learn from each other and share ideas on solutions to common challenges. Education at the workshop is not only through traditional classroom-style presentations and lively discussions at the roundtables or during breaks or lunch, but also by being a first-time speaker, a session moderator, or a workshop Foundation for America’s Blood Centers (FABC) scholarship awardee to name a few.
“This is what ABC does. The organization brings a unique value to the industry through workshops like this,” said Martin Grable, President and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas and President of ABC. The educational success of the workshop would not have been possible without the dedication of the ABC TD and QA Workshop Planning Committee, great speakers, dedicated sponsors Mediware and BD Biosciences, FABC, the enthusiastic attendees, and their blood centers. Adding additional member value, ABC collaborated with Blood Centers of America (BCA) to hold the BCA Quality Networking Conference in conjunction with the workshop for the first time.
However, during these very challenging fiscal times, blood centers have limited or can no longer fully support education opportunities for their employees—especially in-person meetings. With the invaluable impact of education on our daily lives, how can we not make this critical investment? This investment pays off for the employee and manager. Understanding what the employee will take away from the training and setting expectations of how that learning will be applied back at work now, and in the future, is how to make the most of your investment.
Without education, we cannot make informed decisions. How can we be advocates without being educated about the stance we are supporting whether locally or in Washington, D.C.? Blood centers invest in equipment, new technology, and infrastructure. What about the employees who run that equipment, and select and validate that new technology, and those who work in those redesigned laboratories? We need to continue investing in employee education. Investment today creates the knowledgeable workforce we need now and in the future to sustain blood centers.
Education investment needs to be a part of your blood center planning, whether it is for 2017 or beyond. ABC has a number of educational offerings remaining for 2017—the most pressing being the ABC Summer Meeting in Providence, R.I. Be sure to check our website for additional upcoming educational opportunities. Derek Bok, former Harvard University President, said it best, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”.
Toni Mattoch; Director of Quality Services