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some way to verify students’ mastery of the information. Tis can be in the form of writen exams or hands-on exercises. It is important to maintain documentation of proficiency exercises and training. A lecture-oriented presentation is the

standard method of instruction. A Periodic Proficiency Training class should not just be a rehash of your existing Instrument Proficiency lecture, rather it should contain new content with new materials and focus on unusual occurrences, coupled with company- specific needs. One of the best ways to prepare your staff

for managing difficult situations is to have them experience the situation in a safe and controlled seting. Role-play can provide an opportunity for students to practice handling a difficult subject or collection. Reviewing the proper language to use during stressful situ- ations is another topic that can be effectively addressed through role-play. Rehearsing these situations can prepare your staff to respond properly. It is essential that role-play training is properly monitored to ensure that your policies are being followed consistently. Utilizing electronic solutions such as video

conferencing or an e-newsleter can be a good choice for delivering Periodic Proficiency Training to a staff that is spread out over mul- tiple locations. Tis is a method of training that can easily be delivered as frequently as needed. Te flexible nature of this technique allows content to easily be adapted to cover any recent rule changes or problem areas.

➜ Tip: Send a newsleter with ques- tions about your instrument’s display messages. BAT responses will identify problem areas right away.

Material to cover Periodic Proficiency Training should fo-

cus on obstacles to completing a valid test (including positive test results), since these are the scenarios that happen less oſten. • Equipment issues. Every BAT should be familiar with the displays and void

codes of the equipment on which they were certified. Tis is why, in many cases, the best training comes from the manufacturer of the EBT device. Some examples include: • Printer not working/changing paper in the printer

• Accuracy check failed • Batery power failed (device will not turn on)

• Air Blank is greater than zero • Instrument will not take a sample of breath

• Procedural issues. With mandated training occurring only every five years, it is not uncommon for details to be forgoten or overlooked. Tere are many situations that a BAT may only have to address once or twice in a five-year period. If there are competencies that are not being utilized oſten, addressing them in Periodic Proficiency Training can strengthen your staff’s ability to handle uncommon issues. Training should include role-play examples of communi- cating with the donor and maintaining composure. Sample topics include: • How to deal with a positive test result

➜ Tip: Make sure you wait the entire 15 minutes during the mock tests, leting the instrument prompt the BAT through the confirmation test. If you don’t, BATs will not know what the proper displays should look like.

• How to deal with insufficient breath/ manual samples

• How to conduct a confirmation test only (screening was done in a different location or on a different device)

• What to do (or not do) during the 15-minute wait period

• Subject/Donor issues. Test subjects can also create unique challenges BAT collectors, either inadvertently or by being uncooperative. Tis is another area where role-play will be of value. Invent testing scenarios involving one of the

obstacles mentioned below and act out the scenarios with your BATs. One of the easiest things to introduce to your procedures is the use of scripted state- ments when explaining the test to the donor/employee. Go over these scripted statements in your training. Example issues include: • Donor doesn’t want to sign Step 2 • Donor is uncooperative • Donor cannot provide an adequate breath sample

• Test results are positive (yes, it’s worth a second mention)

Probably the most important Trainer

Tip we can provide is to make certain that BATs understand every display on their EBT instrument, not just the ones that come up during negative, uneventful tests. Te instru- ment displays are programmed to prompt the BAT through the process and the BAT must take the time to read and understand these prompts to complete a successful test. Periodic Proficiency Training can be

extremely advantageous to your organiza- tion. With ongoing training, you can be confident that your Breath Alcohol Techni- cians will be competent to perform their duties correctly, every time. ❚

Betye Bailey is the Training Manager for Intox- imeters, Inc. and has been conducting DOT- compliant workplace training for 15 years.

Adam Bell has been a Corporate Trainer at Intoximeters, Inc. for 8 years.

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