Free online training for nurses and care professionals could help solve the global staffing crisis according to an education technology leader.
Michael Manuccia, CEO of FuturU told the Newcross Voice of Care Podcast about his vision for a training system that brings training costs down but brings quality up by utilising new technologies, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
During the interview Mr Manuccia tells listeners the story of a woman who wanted to become a paramedic but couldn’t afford the training costs. He said: “I asked, Well, why haven’t you done it? She said, cost and I’ve got bills to pay. I’ve got two kids, I would work nights and weekends to be able to do that. But I can’t make it a reality.”
Mr Manuccia goes on to explain how FuturU plans to address a worldwide shortage of healthcare professionals predicted to hit 10 million by 2030 : “Our approach is, let’s use technology to bring down the cost, to bring up the quality because it’s stuff that we wouldn’t have been able to do even five years ago and make people that are already willing to put their lives on hold to get a credential, get a certification to work in care. Give them the opportunity to follow through on that dream and then bring that energy into the workforce.”
The podcast explores why the current system hasn’t kept up with demand for training particularly in light of the recent government announcement that funding for social care training has been cut from £500 million to £250 million: “We have to try something that’s a little bit out there because the status quo is what’s gotten us into this position, that we’ve got a global crisis on our hands. We have this crisis and we’re going to be asking people to take on tens of thousands of pounds of debt to get a career that we need desperately in care.
“These are really important careers that we need in society. We need more of them than we have today. We have to change the calculus for people to get into care. We have to make it easy for them. And something that I’ve heard from nurses and care workers a lot is they are passionate; They care so much. They’re willing to do the work. They’re willing to spend time upskilling themselves and getting educated. They just have realities and bills to pay.”
Outlining his vision further, Mr Manuccia tells podcast listeners: “The biggest thing that I’m really excited about and that I’ve heard from a lot of nurses and carers is the best learning that you get is training on the job. But it’s kind of random. It depends on who’s on the shift that day and what happens and how you’ll see how they interact with care recipients, how they interact with the staff, how they get to good outcomes. Well, we know that people with 30 years of experience are leaving care. You’re not going to replace a nurse that’s been working in perioperative care for 30 years in a weekend. Being able to then democratise and flatten the ability for people around the world to access those subject matter experts, those people that really and truly understand how to deliver fantastic care in a Metaversal university, if you will, that’s what I’m excited about, where I think, this is going to go.”
The initial launch of FuturU which includes free training courses on basic life support and airway management has proved that there is demand for this type of content: “We’ve only been out of beta for a few weeks, and I’ve already had about a 30% growth in our number of users. Pretty incredible.” Michael says.
Hosted by healthcare expert Suhail Mirza, the podcast episode featuring Michael Manuccia is available now alongside previous episodes in the series on various platforms including YouTube, Apple, Spotify and the Newcross Healthcare website.