Practitioner Profile


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Practitioner Profile

  1. 1. PRACTITIONER PROFILE: CATHY HALTERBAUM INTERVIEWED BY MARISA TAPIA SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 Introduction and Background: I met Cathy Halterbaum 3 years ago when I began working at AORN. She has been at AORN for 6 years. Her current role is that of an instructional designer. She has over 10 years experience in instructional design. Her career evolved from High School teacher to instructional designer. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology along with a teaching certificate. She taught science in high school and was always fascinated with creating new methods to teach. Early on she realized that technology would play an integral part of teaching, learning and attaining new knowledge. This became a big interest for her as she began integrating “primitive” methods of technology into her classes. It was the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s when there was very little technology integration into schools but she incorporated slides, photos and video into her classes. Cathy’s role inspired me to look into instructional design to further develop my skills in this dynamic discipline. Cathy has 3 boys and as a result she later became a stay at home mom.
  2. 2. When she returned to the work force she began working for Accenture creating scripts and dialogue for television programs. It was here where she delved into the field of instructional design. While at Accenture, she was immersed in a 6 month training program to learn the field and become an “official” instructional designer. She worked fine tuning her skills at Accenture and later moved on to AORN-the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. At AORN she is the lead instructional designer for AORN’s Periop 101 A Core Curriculum which is one of AORN’s premiere programs to teach nurses how to become a nurse in the operating room. The course is all online and provides the foundation for entry level practice in surgery. I worked together with Cathy in creating one of our Confidence Based Learning module via Knowledge Factor. It was a great experience and I believe that working with her on that project provided me a great feel for what instructional design is all about and how it all comes together. I conducted the interview over 35 minutes in one of our small area conference room-the Summit Room-in the education department. The interview was very casual and the setting was relaxed and non-threatening. INTERVIEW Having been out of the workforce for almost 10 years how did you approach a career change? It was fairly a smooth transition. The job required a teaching background and I felt that I had a strong teaching background that could transition me into this role. What was very interesting is that the job offered on the job training and a 6 month training course. Once we completed the training course we were assigned a mentor for an additional 6 months. The work we did was very collaborative and consisted of teamwork and working in teams to get the courses done. I learned a great deal there and that helped me venture into instructional design and the development of online content. It was a great new beginning. What is your role at AORN? I design, develop, manage and update all content for our Periop 101 course. It is very cool. I work alongside SME’s to create new content for our course as well as work with SME’s to update content. I manage over 150 hospitals that subscribe to our course and each hospital will have anywhere from 3-15 new participants (RNs) that take the course. I troubleshoot when the site is acting up too. That is something that I was not prepared for but we work very closely with our IT department in order to fix the issues fast. This program is quite vast it includes 20 modules that build on each other. Whenever we get new updates we have to go through all modules and update them to reflect current practice. This program was developed in 2003 with a hard copy format as well as partially online and in 2006 we went completely online with this program. It is quite intense. We make sure
  3. 3. that all aspects of “customer service” are addressed as well. Since this is one of our main products we have to ensure all systems are a go in order for it to go without a hitch. Every time new participants are enrolled I have to also provide the preceptor or mentor a course specifically for the mentor to understand the process and the content and how it works. Other things that I do here at AORN are provide support to the nurses who work here when creating webinars and creating new templates for programs. My primary service line is the Periop 101 program. Another part of my role is to create the Periop 101 Newsletter to send to participants and hospitals who subscribe to our programs. I will send you the website and you could add it to your paper. This is very fundamental to my job, as I put processes together in a newsletter format so it’s not so boring. What credentials did you need for this position at AORN? The ideal obviously is a master’s degree, but with my certification, my experience and my training I was selected and hired. I belong to ASTD and that keeps me very informed with the latest trends, latest technology and the networking for this association is quite large and I have had several great leads to add to my knowledge base. Currently I am enrolled in CU’s program in eLearning I am looking forward to finishing and I do like the program quite well. Most employers looking for an instructional designer do want experience and a master’s degree, so they are willing to take you on with the assumption that you will attain a master’s degree within 2-3 years of being hired. So you are on the right track with getting additional schooling, as this will put you in a different category. Do you think a career as an instructional designer is marketable? Yes absolutely, right now is a great time to be in the field and going into this field where more and more education, training and instruction is online. Companies, schools and technology industries will need instructional designers. Right now the big three where there will be new jobs are healthcare, technology and education. Just think, we are working in an organization where all three are within our reach. I think we are both entering a new era in education and at AORN where the strategic plan is moving to more innovative and technologically driven education. What do you like the least of instructional design? I would have to say the length of time it takes to finally get a program off to participants. With that being said, I would also state that because our process is so intricate in which we must validate all content, make sure it meets the desired goals, make sure that it is working and in good standing-our success makes it all the worthwhile. I love what I do and I love creating this program to create more nurses to work in the operating room.
  4. 4. CONCLUSION Cathy is very instrumental in providing insight and advice when developing programs and updating modules. She is very proactive in ensuring the success of Periop 101 at AORN. Her experience and her ability to update this immense course consistently without pause ensures that future operating room nurses have the most up to date information to provide safe and effective care. I have observed Cathy over these 3 years and she carries the program to reach even bigger and better outcomes every time there is a new list of participants. The Periop 101 team effectively produces our department’s most successful program. The best insight I received from Cathy was that in order for any education program to succeed it takes time, collaboration, review and patience. Time is essential in creating and developing, as well as providing a guide to what the final product will look like. Working with her team and all the SME’s (subject matter experts) and finalizing drafts and proofing all the work is essential in collaborating to build a course. Reviewing ensures correctness and patience allows for the final touches to ensure the product’s success.