In 2017 ten students from the Spaarne Gasthuis in Hoofddorp took part in a TopTaal language course. Because the experiences were so positive, the organization decided to organize courses again this year.
Fifteen participants have now started a course in which they learn, among other things, to read their work schedule, to report sick and better, to transfer work, to understand abbreviations on a diet list, to understand the hygiene rules and to be able to politely communicate with patients. Participants in the Advanced course also learn how to give or receive compliments and how to respond well to criticism.
They always think along with us
Esther de Wilde, Patient Information & Low Literacy Advisor, explains the reasons for purchasing training courses from TopTaal. 'We have a large Services department. This includes the cleaning team. Because there are many people who are not native Dutch, we have decided to give them the opportunity to improve their language skills. This group of employees appeared to run into many things. Consider reading instructions and safety precautions. That had to be different. Language is a means to make employees function better. And because we are increasingly focusing on low-literate employees and patients, the language courses are indispensable for us. '
Willing and friendly, that is how Esther experiences the contact persons of TopTaal. 'They always think along with us. They also help very well with applying for subsidies. They watched this year when we wanted to apply for subsidy again. They notified us when the application deadline was approaching and then completed a large part of the grant application for us. That has helped us enormously. '
The flexibility that TopTaal offers also benefits from the Spaarne Gasthuis. Together with TopTaal, Esther seeks out the most suitable times for the courses. After all, cleaners work a lot in evening shifts and it is therefore important that they can follow the course during the day. 'The evaluation of the course last year showed that there was a fairly long period between the intakes and the start of the courses. This was due to the allocation of the subsidy. This year we could have done it differently. "
'We have received very enthusiastic responses from the participants. It was also useful that everyone was advised by the teacher: go to the library. Or have a chat with the neighbor. We have noticed that students find it difficult to continue learning after the course itself, so it was valuable that they were given a personal handle for that. What I also really liked was that we, as a guest house, participated in the Week of Literacy. When I wanted to organize a refresher course for all employees, from doctor to desk employee, TopTaal offered to do this free of charge, especially for us as a hospital. Isn't that great? "