Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Teaching Computer Stuff to Middle-Aged People

A [fortunately small] part of my job at the moment involves teaching a group of my co-workers how to use a new computer program that's been designed to help communication between them and the health clinics they work with on a daily basis.

THE PROBLEM IS:  the group I'm teaching is made up of 4 individuals over the age of 40.  Not only do I have to teach them the steps to a complicated process that I struggle to understand, I have to do it while they're being over 40 and very much void of computer knowledge that I grew up learning from a young age.  I'm no expert, that's for sure, and I know one day I will be 40 and frustrated with how difficult new technology is as 20-somethings run circles around me, but that's the future.  RIGHT NOW I want to light my clothes on fire out of frustration after every session I have with each of them.

For one hour at a time, I sit down one-on-one with each of them to review a few pages at a time of a 30 page user guide.  It's mostly one hour (times 4) of situations that goes like this:

Co-worker:  So I should type in the first name, last name and date of birth to search for the patient?

Me:  No, that's not necessary, you can just put in the last name.  In fact, you don't even need to type in the full last name, the name will appear in the box below and you can select it.

Co-worker:  *looking at keyboard, pecking one letter at a time, types in full first name, last name and date of birth anyway, spells last name wrong, searches for 'Smmith, Pual' instead of 'Smith, Paul', enters date of birth as '13-02/1890'*


Me:  Okay, so, if the patient isn't in the system, you click the button that says "Add this patient"

Co-worker:  *searches with cursor for the clearly marked "Add this patient" button despite it being the bigger of two buttons on a blank screen* Where is that?

Me:  Right here.  *puts finger on the screen right next to the "Add this patient" button*

Co-worker:  *clicks the other button on the page that does not say "Add this patient," the screen returns to the home page*  Oh no what did I do??!


Me:  Alright, now that you completed the demographics and household income information [which took 10 minutes for them to type] you click "Save."

Co-worker:  *clicks Exit* Ay!  Uh oh, how do I get it back?

Me:  *dies inside* You can't, we have to open it again and re-enter all of the data.

For one hour at a time I try to maintain my composure, but I'm pretty sure I come off like Tom Hanks in this scene of A League of Their Own: