Guardian Pharmacy of Missouri’s Clinical Nurse Educator, Vicki Clithero, RN, DNP, has a mission – helping long-term care communities cultivate their resident safety culture by ensuring all healthcare staff are fully and properly trained. For educators and students, the shift to remote learning during COVID-19 may pose challenges, but it also fuels creativity.

Courtesy of a waiver from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) allowing remote learning platforms, Clithero has been teaching Level 1 Medication Aide (L1MA) and Insulin Certification in a virtual environment since April of 2020. Hybrid CPR and CPR/First Aid classes, with remote didactic training followed by in-person skills assessments, began in July.

Effective training and professional development of healthcare staff is a central pillar for quality care in LTC settings. “Maintaining the integrity of our remote educational services to promote safe medication administration is our first priority,” says Bethany Bramwell, RPh, BCGP, director of clinical services. The Clinical Learning and Support Services (CLASS) team has risen to the challenge by tailoring educational offerings to meet the evolving needs of partner care centers while preserving the quality of education provided.

“Effective education is never a one-size-fits-all method,” says Clithero, who has over 25 years of experience educating nurses, including experience in developing new learning models. Students have expressed concern that their options for advancement through certification would be put on hold during COVID-19. They have been incredibly grateful for the opportunity for continued professional development. “Overall, students have been positive about the virtual experience,” says Clithero, who strives to train new healthcare staff for long-term success. In addition to certificate programs, the clinical services team is offering remote learning opportunities for care staff in dementia care, infection prevention and control, antibiotic stewardship, opioid stewardship, immunizations, and medication administration refresher training.

For more information about Guardian Pharmacy of Missouri’s CLASS , including upcoming certification sessions, contact Vicki Clithero at vicki.clithero@guardianpharmacymissouri.com.