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Radio Heatherwood Presenter Training.

Radio Training Revue

The introduction of the computers into the presenters presentation skills in the previous year added a new requirement for all staff and potential staff.

Whilst at the time it was all about training staff who had the basic presenting skills, by the end of 2003 we needed to be able to deliver a new style of training which would incorporate all the new skills as well as maintaining the old style equipment usage.

The following is a briefing which went out to existing staff in October 2004 and heralded a complete departure from what had gone before.

The story unfolds:-

Radio Heatherwood Training Plan Development.

The purpose of this briefing is to make you aware of what we will need to do if we want to be successful and the talking point for the hospital patients and staff.

If Radio Heatherwood is to survive, we must all revue what we are doing and ask the question will patients listen to us, if we don't visit the wards, don't approach patients properly, don't listen to what the patients want and play music which is out of place.

Patient power bedhead unit a god send for the radio but a double edged sword as statistics which can be produced for the trust can exactly show whether they are using the hospital radio service or not. Our own recent stats show that yes we could do better and that's our aim we must all do better if the station is to survive.

Rhapsody gives the station a fighting chance to increase our listener ship throughout the day yet over eighteen months after it's official launch we are still lacking compositions items of interest etc from our own staff. The computers are here to stay and there is no going back. The station must move on or pay the penalty.

A critical part of the radio being listened to, is also making sure each broadcast night that we visit the wards and encourage patients to listen in and take part.

In the past the training of new recruits was handled by the individual team nights and their staff and this dates back to the very beginning of the radio. This being the most efficient way of delivering training, this left the door open for training and skills only as good as what was passed on from previous team members. If a team is lacking in certain skills then there is no chance for that team to develop to the full potential.

David and I would be the first to admit that this has been an area, we have not overseen or taking a more hands on control. The operations manual lays down a lot of guidelines but doesn't convey the full day to day running of the radio. I.E. How people conduct themselves on the wards and simple acts of keeping the management informed or not telling the team leader your coming in seems to be different and not uniformed. Each night will in effect be conducting business in a different manner some nights would be good at what they do and others not so good.

The change to patient power bedhead unit to deliver the service and the introduction of the computers means we cannot continue with the old method of training. Nor can we tolerate new people joining and saying they can only help out once a week and can't train on other nights.

The old method of a night being responsible for the training of new recruits is over it will be a combination of the method laid out below. We need maximum flexibility from new recruits and we need all nights to be singing from the same hymn book so that any new people who will train on one night can swap to their permanent night safe in knowledge that the new night is conducting themselves to the same high standards and in the same manner.

New Training Method

This can be divided up into three skills level of training:-


Initial skills on night ward rounds, basic console skills etc Training period 4-8 weeks with a revue of their progress. Training delivered by Team Night


Six weeks of intensive training on a new night with concentration on opps manual, running the studio for an evening and wave cart live assist. Training delivered by Engineer and nominated Team leader.


No time limit Rhapsody compositions using cool edit and program preparation using Wavestation/simian for specialist programs. Training delivered by Engineer

Currently there are 2 people who have completed about eight weeks of bronze training on a Tuesday evening. This bronze training on a Tuesday includes ward rounds reading requests and use of the consoles to a basic level using the cd player and not the computers. They have been moved to Mondays and are receiving Silver a further six weeks of intensive training on presentation, opening up the studio for the evening and aspects of the opps manual. At the end of this six week section they will be ready to present programs using the live assist and also conversant with all aspects of running the night.

A further two people who are receiving their bronze training on a Tuesday will then swap with the two on Mondays and they will then receive Silver 6 weeks advanced skills.

The two silver trainee’s who then return to Tuesdays can hone their presentation skills using the computer in their programs and also return to doing the wards and collecting requests.

It is envisaged, once both sets of people have completed their Bronze & Silver a new team under the new training will be ready to move to Mondays and open up in early January 2005. Monday night training being delivered by the station engineer and Tuesday team leader.


The above development plan is under way and all Monday training slots are booked for the remainder of the year. The result of this training schedule will be the opening of Monday nights in early January with 4 new staff all would have completed their Bronze and Silver Training.No decision has been made yet on the delivering of the gold training.

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2004 Year Twenty Eight Story Unfolds

2004 was a very busy year for the station management and as the year unfolded there was much to do and organise

For further information about this year:- Follow the links

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Archive Gems

Just some extra's we found:-

2004 The Story Continues!

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