NEW YORK — May 18, 2023 — Thousands of aspiring health professionals nationwide will be able to train for careers in health care using virtual reality simulations, thanks to a new Virtual Healthcare Clinic launched this week by immersive learning startup Transfr. The virtual simulations are designed to equip learners with the foundational knowledge and skills to prepare them for apprenticeships and jobs in the fast-growing healthcare sector, which is facing a nationwide shortage of qualified workers.
“As one of the largest health systems in West Texas, we understand that investing in a strong regional healthcare workforce is essential for ensuring strong patient outcomes and maintaining the highest quality of community care,” says Pam Bradshaw, chief operations officer at Shannon Medical Center, a 600-bed clinical care provider and health system in San Angelo, Texas. “Advances in virtual and augmented reality are making it possible for us to teach students and young professionals about the world of modern healthcare in ways that make these careers more relatable, relevant and accessible.”
Nationally, the nation’s hospitals and health systems face a gap of millions of qualified workers. The shortage of healthcare talent has been compounded by increased burnout and quit rates in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic—at a time when demand for healthcare workers was already projected to grow sharply, particularly in roles that do not require a four-year college degree. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand is projected to rise by 25% for home health aides and patient care technicians and 16% for medical assistants.
To help address this shortage, Transfr’s simulations leverage cutting-edge virtual reality experiences, as well as detailed visuals and storytelling to vividly recreate the experience of working in a clinical care environment. Learners experience the sort of real-world interactions with patients and medical technology that frontline healthcare workers like clinical lab technicians, surgical technicians, pharmacy technicians, nursing assistants and medical assistants encounter on the job every day. Students progress through a series of simulations covering the essentials of patient care in a clinical environment, including safety practices, infection control, risk reduction and monitoring patient vital signs.
Delivered in concert with employers, colleges and workforce development organizations, these simulations enable learners to feel as though they are embedded in the physical environment and experience of an actual clinical environment. The simulations can be used by high school and community college students as well as adults looking for careers and apprenticeships in the healthcare sector. Transfr’s innovative approach enables trainees to perform hands-on training with the assistance of a digital coach, all in a fully immersive, 360-degree environment that is distraction-free and completely safe.
“Our capacity to maintain the quality of patient care in our healthcare system—and by extension protect and care for our kids, elders, loved ones and communities—depends on our ability to build and retain a highly-qualified healthcare workforce,” said Lori Hardie, Director of Health Sciences at Transfr, a Registered Nurse and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator®. “Immersive technology can help to close this gap by offering aspiring healthcare workers a space for unlimited practice and an engaging way to master skills needed in a clinical setting. It’s a powerful way to introduce people to health professions, while boosting the capacity of healthcare educators.”
These healthcare simulations are the latest addition to a series of fully-immersive training modules from Transfr, covering some of the country’s fastest-growing jobs in industries such as automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and construction. As of May 2023, Transfr has secured more than 500 enterprise and education partnerships with statewide government agencies, community and technical colleges, workforce development organizations and Fortune 500 companies. In less than three years, the company has grown from serving customers in only one state to working with non-profit, public sector and enterprise partners in more than 40 states.
“Our expansion into healthcare is reflective of Transfr’s interest in helping aspiring professionals to launch careers in more professions in high-growth professions,” said Bharani Rajakumar, founder and CEO of Transfr. “This is about not only meeting the growing demand for healthcare talent, but ultimately helping high-potential workers explore and prepare for good-paying careers in caring professions.”
About Transfr: Transfr’s mission is to train the future of every industry by opening up new opportunities for people across the globe. Transfr helps create unique pathways to well-paying jobs available now in high-demand fields, enabling learners to find job security and economic prosperity, facilitated by immersive, hands-on training. To learn more, please visit transfrvr.com.