School at Work® - entry-level Employee Development

Improve entry-level employees daily communications with staff and patients. Empower them to identify a career for life with your organization.

School at Work (SAW®) is recognized across the US as the model for education and career development of entry-level healthcare associates. SAW sharpens core education and skills that optimize performance in a healthcare setting. Employees also complete a career plan that helps them chart their next steps with your organization.

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Why human resource and education leaders choose SAW

Since 2002, more than 22,000 grads across over 500 US hospitals have been impacted by the School at Work experience.

Hospital leaders know that every associate impacts the patient experience. Entry-level employees are regularly in and out of patients’ rooms and have frequent interaction with patients and families. Essential workers have been lauded for loyalty and bravery during the pandemic and are often ethnically diverse.

School at Work (SAW) is a comprehensive education and career-planning system for a health system’s lowest-paid employees. Its goal is to help these individuals move from low wage jobs to middle-skill careers with family-sustaining wages. Hospitals that strive to be destination employers use SAW to develop the confidence, professional skills, loyalty and upward mobility of entry-level associates.

Nurse and patient


School at Work focuses developing essential communication skills and personalized career plans

The School at Work educational curriculum is a rapid review of the essential skills of communication, grammar, reading and writing. It also provides employees with ownership for the HCAHPS rating and introduces them to medical terminology.

Your employees will gain skills to improve in their current position, develop a personalized career plan, seek technical school or job advancement – and build their confidence to realize a healthcare career.

Module 1 & 2: Life Management Skills

Learning Objectives

  • Work with a variety of goal-setting techniques to obtain targeted work and personal results
  • Put time management techniques into action to realize more control over your work and personal life
  • Learn to identify causes of stress and explore stress management strategies

Module 3: Mastering Communication in the Workplace

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Understand the steps in the communication process
  • Recognize and identify different communication styles
  • Exercise effective communication skills that meet patient safety and satisfaction standards
  • Realize the importance of being a team player
  • Learn about basic tools for managing conflict situations

healthcare worker pushing patient in wheelchair

Module 4: Principles of Patient Safety and Satisfaction

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the importance of the HCAHPS survey
  • Cite reasons why patient satisfaction scores are important to you, and ways you can take ownership in making a positive impact
  • Define a safe healthcare environment
  • Understand the importance of “first do no harm”
  • Recognize the different influences upon patient safety and the individual and organizational level

healthcare worker using computer

Module 5: Grammar in the Workplace

Learning Objectives

  • Identify key parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, and verbs) and how they function in sentences
  • Use punctuation marks correctly to make sentences and paragraphs clear
  • Avoid the most common and distracting grammatical errors

  • Avoid confusion among words that look alike or are similar in spelling or sound but have different meanings

healthcare workers collaborating

Module 6: Reading in the Workplace

Learning Objectives

  • Find main ideas and identify important supporting details
  • Define the correct meaning of a word, whether stated explicitly or implicitly in the text
  • Classify documents according to their purpose
  • Apply techniques for reading comprehension
  • Learn to summarize or draw conclusions from reading material

healthcare worker studying

Module 7: Writing in the Workplace

Learning Objectives

  • Apply the four steps of the writing process to different workplace topics
  • Write paragraphs using topic sentences and supporting details
  • Implement techniques for improved writing skills, including writing legibly, writing often – and applying the three Cs of writing: clear, concise and concrete
  • Integrate customer-focused writing techniques into business writing
  • Apply proven note-taking techniques
  • Recognize key building blocks for developing effective resumes

 studying math

Module 8 & 9: Applying Math in the Workplace

Part 1

  • Solve workplace problems that require a single type of mathematics operation using whole numbers
  • Define: fraction, numerator, denominator, proper fraction, improper fraction, mixed number and equivalent fractions
  • Perform the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using fractions
  • Add and subtract negative numbers
  • Convert simple money and time units

Part 2

  • Perform the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using decimals
  • Given workplace scenarios, change numbers from one form to another using whole numbers, fractions, decimals or percentage

healthcare workers conversing

Module 10 & 11: Medical Terminology

Part 1

  • Define common prefixes, suffixes, and root words in medical terminology
  • Combine prefixes, suffixes, and root words in medical terminology to form new medical terms
  • Use medical terminology book to find the meaning of medical words
  • Translate medical terms and abbreviations

Part 2

  • Use the medical terminology reference book to find the meaning of medical words
  • Recall the medical terms used to describe body positions
  • Use medical terminology book to find the meaning of medical words
  • Identify and recall the parts of a cell including the nucleus, cytoplasm and chromosomes

Proud ethnic woman healthcare worker

Module 12: Planning for Your Future

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate strategies for moving up the career ladder, including continuing education and job advancement opportunities
  • Describe various healthcare careers, including non-clinical careers
  • Assess your knowledge level at the end of SAW

Career and Learning

A Bridge to Career and Higher Education

The Career and Learning Plan (CLP) is a four-step career exploration process rich with resources to help employees learn about themselves and opportunities available within your organization. It is accessed on-line at the CLP Center portal.

Students explore their interests, strengths, values, and experience.

Customized career interest survey

Investigate Jobs database and videos

Local School Search This enables students to identify local options for obtaining that next diploma, certification or degree.

Prepare S.M.A.R.T. Goals - Students define S.M.A.R.T. Goals that will bring their career plan to fruition.

delivery driver

School at Work Delivery Models

SAW combines proven adult-learning principles with a Blended Learning Model that caters to the unique challenges adult students face. The result? Outstanding completion rates.

The SAW content delivery model:

Incorporates a blended-learning model with:

house cleaning

Customer Stories

Geisinger building

Geisinger (PA) Builds Career Pipelines for Individual Contributors

Geisinger is a regional care provider in 45 Pennsylvania counties, spanning central and northeastern PA. More than 1 million patients are cared for at the health system’s 9 hospitals and numerous clinics and outpatient facilities.

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Cincinnati Children building

Cincinnati Children’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion through Frontline Employee Career Development

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (CCHMC) is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals in the U.S. It is nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties.

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