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RED - Real Education Delivered

Wyong Public Hospital
Project Added:
8 October 2013
Last updated:
9 October 2014

RED - Real Education Delivered

Alison Harris and Sonya Ryan, Central Coast Local Health District


Real Education Delivered (RED) is an adaptable education program that delivers professional support, information and learning opportunities to members of the multidisciplinary health care team within their working environment.

The program has been well received by staff, presenters and managers with high levels of participation and positive feedback.

Alison, Sonya and two colleagues wearing red, with the trolley

Case for Change

The Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) is committed to education and professional development, facilitating a culture of lifelong learning, excellence in professional nursing practice to enable improved patient outcomes.

Education opportunities offered to casual nursing staff and those that work after-hours are often limited. Surveys used to validate the clinical education opportunities provided to after hours, nursing support roster and casual nursing staff, identified that they rarely, if ever, had access to education within the after-hours environment. Casual staff are often excluded from the opportunity to participate in ward based education when they work within business hours. This area of concern was the impetus that inspired the development of RED.

Graph showing lack of access to educational opportunities for staff working out of hours, 2011

Formal teaching: Never=32, Infrequently=12, Sometimes=2, Frequently=4. Competency assessment: Never=30, Infrequently=14, Sometimes=3, Frequently=4. Educational advice: Never=16, Infrequently=14, Sometimes=13, Frequently=6, always=2. Clinical support: Never=16, Infrequently=12, Sometimes=13, Frequently=7, Always=2.

Solution Development

To address this problem, the RED mobile education resource was developed and introduced at Wyong Hospital. The primary aim of the RED programme is to deliver clinical education to nursing staff within their working environment.

The RED trolley, showing brochures and the registration cards

Originally inspired by the food services tea trolley, education is delivered using a trolley elaborately dressed in a theatrical red skirt. The stimulating red colour promotes high visibility and aims to attract and energise staff, captivating their interest and motivation.

The mobile unit, known locally as "the RED trolley", uses a variety of teaching methods and has the capacity to accommodate individual learning styles. RED is underpinned by the principles of adult learning, reflective practice, cultivating a consensus of curiosity and self-motivation. RED has the potential to provide practical application of clinical skills and also advocates equity and access of education for all staff, both casual and permanent employees.

The RED programme in practice

RED has been used as an exemplary resource to promote local and statewide clinical initiatives. Guest speakers wishing to promote their clinical specialty to the wider audience or share lessons learnt from best practice have generated welcomed interest. The subject matter is centred on current local and state-wide policy and procedures or mandated education.

Regard for appropriate methods of delivery is considered with flexible options available, such as:

  • simulated skill practice
  • clinical demonstrations
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • self-directed activity
  • reflective discussion.

This program has the capacity to cater for diverse learning styles allowing visual, linguistic, kinaesthetic demonstrations and reflection to guide and inform learning. Training can be delivered to small groups or on an individual basis accommodating those with either social or solitary learning styles.

Education duration depends on ward activity. The program design allows for the team to move to alternative areas if ward activity is lively and revisit at a more appropriate time.

Adult learners relish in novelty and colour, humour and eye catching approaches result in learning outcomes.

Participating staff receive a card that is stamped and kept as part of the program. An accumulation of eight, 15 minute sessions rewards them with two CPD points and a certificate of participation. A reflection activity validating the education for use in their portfolio is offered.

Hospital staff now receive face to face learning in situations where they had not been able to be previously released to attend training.

A distinct advantage of the RED programme is the application and delivery of quality and up to date information to staff within their working environment. The critical function of the educator is to create a rich environment from which learning and reflection can be extracted.

The important implication for adult-education practice involves self-directed inquiry which produces the greatest learning. RED excels at enhancing motivation and facilitating staff to discover a process of inquiry. Applying strategies such as this not only engages the learner but increases the collaboration and involvement of the entire health care team.

Results and staff feedback

The introduction of the RED Programme has been enthusiastically embraced as innovative, interesting and fun by the nursing staff of Wyong hospital and has over that time also captured the interest of allied health teams, medical officers, clerical and hospital support staff.

Since its introduction in July 2012 to date (Sept 2013):

  • Over 1000 staff across varying disciplines have accessed this exciting mobile education resource and a review of the records show that some staff have accessed the mobile programme multiple times
  • There have been in excess of 60 different topics offered by various presenters
  • Over 170 nurses from the casual nursing pool and the nursing support roster have accessed the programme.
A guest speaker presenting to five staff on a ward with the trolley

It has also been well received in the after-hours environment and staff evaluation has been overwhelmingly positive. The introduction of this initiative at other sites across CCLHD is imminent. Qualitative evaluation also indicates favourable opportunities for staff and patient education.

Staff feedback

A recent survey was distributed to three different cohorts to gain a varied perspective. The survey was offered to:

  • clinicians who have accessed the RED program
  • presenters to gain perspective from a facilitators point of view
  • managers and senior clinicians.

The clinicians described their experience with the RED Programme as fun, stimulating, innovative and exciting. They were also asked to provide two examples of how the information gained from the RED programme enhanced their clinical practice.

Topic: Epilepsy

"Enjoyed the discussion with the CNC. I now understand epilepsy better. We don’t see many people on the ward I work with epilepsy so the refresher was great."

"Great to refresh my understanding of people having seizures and the acute management for these patients. It also allowed me to ask questions and clarify things I was unsure of."

Presenters were asked if they felt the delivery of education in this manner was beneficial to the target audience and to them as a presenter. A common thread was identified that they enjoyed being able to deliver the education in a relaxed environment and not in a formal setting such as a lecture.

"It is a great concept to take education to the staff, to a time and place that suits them. It can be targeted to one person or more and it gives you the opportunity to individualise your education to their needs."

"I found the staff more relaxed. I didn’t go looking for the staff for an in-service they saw that red trolley and came to see what the education was about this time."

Management and senior clinicians were asked about the benefits of the RED programme in relation to staff education and the impact the program has had with regards to patient care.

"Love the idea of not having to organise staff to be released from the floor for education."

"Great to see an opportunity provided to staff that can be delivered out of hours and spontaneously."


The program has enhanced the nexus between patient centred care and nursing education.

The potential for RED to be expanded directly to the patient is forthcoming with a focus on health promotion for chronic and acute illness during hospital stays. It is a cost effective programme with a valuable outcome that is delivered via a flexible and credible medium, enhancing safe patient care and the professional development of staff.

Be captured by RED

It’s incREDible

It’s tailoRED to suit your needs

REDiscover learning

become InspiRED


Clinical Nurse Educator
Wyong Nursing Administration, Casual Pool & After-hours Education
Central Coast Local Health District
Phone: 02 4394 7847

Clinical Nurse Educator
Wyong Nursing Administration, Casual Pool & After-hours Education
Central Coast Local Health District
Phone: 02 4394 7272

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