10.5 Select teaching methods

There are several different teaching methods that may be of use in delivering transfusion education. The choice will depend on the target group, the numbers that require transfusion training and the level of training required. Table 10.1 gives a brief description of some of methods.

Table 10.1 Teaching methods

Method Description Pros and cons
Large group teaching — lectures Historically the most widely used teaching technique. Very useful for providing training to large numbers of learners who need the same information. Can be supported by handouts to promote call of information. Inexpensive approach, however, the quality of lecture is dependent on the knowledge, skill and attitudes of teacher, and learners may feel they have a ‘passive’ role with lack of involvement.
Small group learning An interactive learning approach using small group, problem based learning. The trainer has the role of facilitating, prompting and providing guidance and prompt feedback. Medical undergraduate education has moved to this approach in may countries. This method can be used for multidisciplinary education for key staff involved in transfusion. Promotes active participation, sharing of experiences, and learning from each other.
Individual learning Learning can be self-directed using paper based materials or e-Learning. Should not be used in isolation but integrated into the wider programme. Requires a clear strategy with standardisation of approach. Learners must have key IT skills and access to IT resources if using e-learning packages. Individual learning is unsuitable for developing practical transfusion skills.
Simulated learning This technique has been adapted for use in healthcare. Can be used to recreate common errors in transfusion practice e.g. ‘wrong blood’ incidents. Expensive and only suitable for training small numbers per session.