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In these days of budget tightening, the equipment costs to create an in-house studio for satellite inservices might be far beyond the reach of the average home health agency. But an agency that serves a far-flung area still may be able to use new technology to create its own more personalized training economically.
"There are organizations within the community that are technically set up to do distance learning," says Norma Kay Sprayberry, RN, MSN, director of program development and accreditation for the Bureau of Home and Community Services in the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Sprayberry notes that the technology may be available at low cost at local cable television stations, college television studios, and public agencies such as her own. "An agency that has some size to it but isn’t willing to fund the initial start-up costs from a technical standpoint could contract with a facility such as ours. We would just provide the facility and satellite technology."
Even a simple video camera could make a difference, says Gayla Hollis, BSN, who works with the bureau’s aide accreditation and education program. "If you have one instructor who is required to cover a large area, you can set up a video camera, videotape her presentation and send it out to other areas," she says.