Industry Blog

The Global Nursing and Doctor Shortage is Being Solved by Digital Training Now

By 2022, the American Nurses Association predicts America will be short 1M nurses. But due to COVID19- there’s a major roadblock to training new nurses and doctors as well: the canceling of clinical training, a requirement towards working.

Back in March, the AAMC suspended clinical rotations during COVID-19; only to drop the suspension in June, and then changing their mind again recently- reinstating suspension of clinical training. But demand has remained high for these essential healthcare workers, as it has been globally, and in Los Angeles as you can see with one of the stories we told in partnership with PropelLA about Eileen Esquivel, a Registered Nurse Supervisor.

This is one of the most important stories today, and its impact is both under-reported and understated. However – the good news is – for over a decade, healthcare training has been undergoing a digital transformation in ways that have gone unnoticed by the public.

In addition to emerging virtual solutions like tele-health and tele-medicine, there are already quite a few digital alternatives to in person clinical training – and you can decide for yourself whether these may be even better than the real rotations?

The first example is HoloAnatomy – you can see how it helps the students in this particular program at Case Western be able to see anatomy in a way that has never been imaginable before.  Contrary to the argument that digital learning is less effective, Case Western has actually shown that students actually recall 50% more of what they learn when they learn in this way.

Take a look at the presentation and demonstration by Amar Patel of CAE Healthcare and Eric Kamont of Microsoft Corporation at the 20th anniversary of the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in San Diego in January 2020. You can see a bit more of the Augmented Reality (AR) Demo here.

I was inspired by the i-Human Augmented Reality demo, acquired by Kaplan in 2018, being able to see a patient at three different stages of a disease, and to be able to diagnose the patient instantly by walking around the simulation at each of these stages.

Another important company making tremendous progress in this space is the Oxford Medical Simulation is a really powerful example of group learning in VR around real life scenarios. It’s worth mentioning that this training is now common at some of the top healthcare institutions in the UK.

The VR Training from HealthScholars also provides a powerful training experience: it was remarkable how real the timed and gamified simulation how much my adrenaline was rushing to follow the correct procedures to save a patient.  Another excellent resource is the VR Training Platform by Acadicus.

Strong use cases include safety training, pediatric simulation, and general surgery. For more information, check out the American College of Surgeons, on the agenda for their next meeting “A Dialogue on Surgical Simulation“ includes Augmented Reality for Surgery, Computer-based Virtual Trainers, and Virtual Physiology.

CreatorUp has had the chance to make a significant impact with digital training in the healthcare space by supporting video content production for these courses.

Dave O’Brien, Senior Producer at CreatorUp, talks about some of the exciting partnerships between CreatorUp and UCLA: “Recently, we added the DMH-UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence to our list of clients. The COE creates training series in support of the LA County Division of Mental Health, designed to provide resources for Los Angeles County employees supporting the mental health of our community. From fiction/non-fiction hybrid courses such as one dealing with meeting the needs of LGBTQ system-involved youth (juvenile justice, foster care, etc…) to remotely-produced interview series to support educators teaching during COVID-19, we’re producing over five hours of course content with them this year.”

We have also helped Straightaway Healthcare train their nursing students for the emotional IQ needed and appropriate reactions to the many scenarios they’ll encounter in their practice. Our series of more than 64 narrative based lesson videos prepared them for professional certification. You can take a look at the example here.
In addition, we’ve collaborated with West Coast University on their healthcare training clinicals. Our series walks nursing students through an array of essential skills, taking them through a checklist of what they need to do, and quizzing them for reinforcement.”

Here are a few more good organizations in the space to know about, with Special thanks to Mary Turco who helped curate some of the recommended resources above during the Alliance for Continuing Education in Health Professions conference.
·  Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education
·  MedBiquitous – helps create technology standards during digital transformation
·  Key Literature in Medical Education (KeyLIME) – a weekly podcast produced by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Other online virtual training resources include our colleagues at Laerdal Medical, Osmosis, ScholarRX, VRad, and GibLib.

As clinical rotations get canceled at nursing schools and medical schools – these experiences will need to be replaced with meaningful alternatives that include the pillars of effective learning in that environment: practical, social, community-driven, and interactive.

It is clear that digital media: video, AR, VR will help solve the nursing and doctor shortage in the next two years, and bridge access to the training gap between rural and underserved communities across the globe.

Mike Tringe
Mike Tringe
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