Let’s face it, it’s easy to start out with good intentions. Healthcare textbooks are designed to educate students on medical and surgical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and medical processes and procedures. The depth and complexity of the material can sometimes keep healthcare students from becoming as motivated as they should be. That’s why it’s important for students to have a healthcare course that incorporates a variety of strategies that help them stay motivated. The teacher also plays an important role because he or she motivates, educates, and stimulates healthcare students. Let’s look at six strategies for motivating healthcare students:
- State expectations clearly. Starting off on the right foot is the key to maintaining motivation and increasing the likelihood of success in any endeavor. The best way for both teachers and students to start off on the right foot is with a clear list of expectations. The students will be motivated to meet the teacher’s expectations when the students know what the expectations are. Teachers, in turn, will find themselves more motivated knowing that students are on the right path to learning.
- Incorporate school work into the plan. It is easy to get so caught up in teaching that the work placed on the students after they walk out of the classroom is forgotten about. The teacher can help by weaving in tips on how to do the assignments to keep the students engaged and motivated even after they leave class. This strategy may lighten the load for teachers from the standpoint of grading assignments also.
- Establish goals for the curriculum. It’s easier for students to stay motivated when the big picture is clear. Instead of just moving from lesson to lesson until the exam, try creating a theme that can set students up for a monthly goal. One goal might be to ask students to demonstrate how the anatomical structure of the arm allows a pitcher to throw a baseball. By the end of the lesson, students are able to accurately describe the parts of the arm, and how these parts work together to facilitate throwing an object, such as a baseball.
- Encourage rewards. Grade school may be long past, but everyone responds well to rewards. Find fun, creative ways to reward healthcare students both in the physical classroom and online. Celebrate victories when they successfully master tough topics, such as correctly abstracting diagnoses and procedures from a complex medical record.
- Maintain engagement. Whether teaching online or in the traditional classroom, staying engaged with each student is necessary to create a motivating atmosphere. Stay engaged by incorporating healthcare-related games, crossword puzzles, and other fun ideas into the curriculum.
- Keep a positive attitude. A positive attitude can make the difference between having lackluster feelings about a course and really being motivated to learn the material. When students aren’t feeling motivated because they are struggling to learn the material, teachers should maintain a positive upbeat attitude and offer positive words of encouragement.
Creative course creation can incorporate a variety of strategies to help students maintain motivation. It might take some simple word changes or sidebars with ideas for motivation in certain areas of the curriculum, but it can be done.
If you need help creating great healthcare lessons that encourage student motivation, send us a message to get started.