Sharp Grossmont Hospital workers pose for team shot before U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds passed last April. Photo by Chris Stone

Rady Children’s Hospital and two San Diego universities have partnered to develop a customized workforce training program in mental and behavioral health education for hospital staff, it was announced Thursday.

The three-week program, developed by the hospital, National University’s Workforce Education Solutions and Northcentral University is offered to front desk and emergency staff as well as nurses and support staff, both clinical and non-clinical.

More than 1,200 employees have taken part in the online training modules made available to Rady Children’s employees. The universities — affiliates of the National University System’s network of private, nonprofit universities — collaborated to develop the module-based behavioral health program with programs including behavioral health and nursing.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego immediate workforce training that supports family and patient needs,” said Chris Graham, president of Workforce Education Solutions.

“During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to ensure that our health care workers and supporting staff have access to resources that are immediately applicable to our current environment and community needs. We believe strongly in the ability of education and training to support employer needs, encourage workforce preparedness and ultimately better our communities,” he said.

The online course integrates behavioral health curricula, with topics identified and tailored to the needs of the hospital’s employees, patients and families. These needs include awareness and recognition of mental and behavioral health issues, decreasing the stigmatization of mental health and improving coping and resiliency skills.

Faculty-created tailored content and Northcentral University support teams designed and loaded the content into an online platform.

“During this time of crisis, there has been a marked increase in mental health and stress-related behaviors, making our faculty’s expertise more valuable than ever. I am very proud of the ways we came together with Rady Children’s Hospital to make this happen — and in such short order,” said John LaNear, provost and chief academic officer at Northcentral University.

The program takes 16 hours to complete and includes 14 hours of self- paced learning and 2 hours of online peer-faculty collaboration. Staff completing the program earn 16 hours of continuing education credit that can be used to fulfill professional licensing requirements.

“We saw a need for all of our staff, not just those in the behavioral health field, to be trained to have a deeper understanding of the key areas of mental health to provide additional support to our patients and families throughout their whole time with us,” said Domonique Hensler, senior director of Care Redesign Planning and Mental Health Integration at Rady.

— City News Service

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