3M aspires to provide worker and patient education safety to 5 million people by 2025. As new research and technologies emerge – 3M plays a part in ensuring everyone has the tools they need to thrive.
It might seem surprising to link education to sustainability, but when we empower caregivers with knowledge, they help people in their communities live healthy and well.
Tara Florek, Health Care Education Team Leader, explains: “No matter your relationship with 3M, we invite you to listen, interact, learn and consume education from us. We want to contribute to today’s conversations and offer intelligent insights for tomorrow.”
3M Health Care helps healthcare professionals, specifically, by offering training resources and free continuing education courses through an online portal called 3M Health Care Academy. In 2019, 3M Health Care Academy engaged with nearly 300,000 medical professionals in 44 countries. It’s available as a mobile app, too – which enables professionals to tap into a library of knowledge on the go, simply by downloading the app from the app store.
“Advancing the health of our global population is a cornerstone issue for us at 3M,” said Denise Rutherford, 3M’s senior vice president for corporate affairs. She recently spoke at the Nobel Prize Dialogue. “For decades, 3M has worked side-by-side with health care professionals to create innovative solutions and provide a platform for continuing education through our 3M Health Care Academy. The physical and mental wellbeing of our society requires an on-going dialogue between scientific disciplines, medical professionals, governments and corporations.”
“Another great thing about Health Care Academy,” Tara explains, “is that it keeps a digital record of your coursework. Oftentimes, health care providers have to track their CE [continuing education] credits to maintain active licensure.”
Where you live often dictates the type of credits you need. Most health care providers in the USA and other countries require some form of continuing education to maintain certification. The credits are assigned by professional bodies, like the California Registered Board of Nursing and IAHCSMM-International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management.
In the future, Tara predicts we’ll see even more changes in adult learning as it relates to UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience).
More programs, like the popular language app Duolingo, are available on mobile and trending toward microlearning: the breaking down of information into bite-sized bits. It empowers people to learn on the go. Increasingly, microlearning is an important solution, because it allows learners to master small amounts of information at a time. It’s objective driven and can quickly deploy within organizations.
Working toward a more sustainable future starts with a spirit of curiosity and a commitment to learning. 3M Health Care has a historical anecdote to prove that this approach works.
In the past, 3M scientists would visit hospitals for a week to make observations. One scientist noticed nurses repeatedly removing bandages to inspect wounds and IV sites on a single patient. Why not make the bandage more transparent? The scientist asked. A simple question led to the innovation of a clear medical dressing, ultimately allowing for fewer tape removals and less patient pain.
It is this spirit of continued learning, coupled with innovation and idea exchange, that helps create a happier, healthier, more sustainable future for all.