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Career Story: Learning & Organizational Development Manager At A Hospital

Learning & Organizational Development Manager At A Hospital

Job Title: Senior Learning & Organizational Development Manager

Type of Company: Healthcare - Outpatient Primary Healthcare and Medical Specialities

Education: BA, Psychology, Brown University •• M.Ed. Counseling, Boston College •• CAES (Certificate of Advanced Education Studies), Boston College

Previous Experience: I have been a learning and organizational development consultant, a director of training and training manager, a senior training and organizational development specialist, a school psychologist and day treatment specialist.

Job Tasks: These days I design and implement organizational development initiatives aimed at improving teamwork, communication, retention and productivity for senior management, physicians and all levels of staff at an outpatient clinic. I also develop learning programs that incorporate state-of-the-art adult learning research and techniques. A few of the programs and workshops I've developed this year include a work-life balance retreat for couples, a personal growth retreat and seminars on managing change, presentation skills, extraordinary leaders and managing relationships.

Part of my job is coaching staff and managers to develop their professional skills and improve their ability to work well with other staff and patients. Once or twice a month I shadow a doctor's patients and then give the physician and other staff feedback on their customer service and any suggestions for improving how they work with patients or the clinic.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part, I get to meet different people in the organization from the president and senior managers to front line staff and the secretaries who greet patients. Even though I don't provide direct patient care, I hope to have an impact on the staff and clinicians who do. My role contributes to staff satisfaction and professional development which are key factors in maintaining employee morale.

Job Tips:
1. Learning how to be comfortable speaking in front of a group can be learned. I used to be shy and hated even raising my hand in high school and now make presentations to groups of up to 350 people.

2. If you get a charge out of watching other people have that "aha" moment where they are able to grasp a new concept that will help them handle a difficult situation differently or encourage them to grow, consider training, learning or organizational development as a career.

Additional Thoughts: I had no idea this type of career existed until after graduate school. I had majored in psychology and went on to become a school psychologist. While I enjoyed working with students, I found the routine of doing evaluations and all the paperwork a bore. I switched into training where I have more varied work -- not that there aren't boring components. Putting together handouts, setting up and cleaning up after a class and figuring out schedules can be pretty tedious.

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