Last updated: 12.01.15

E-learning beneficial to health professionals

Healthcare professionals need to keep their training up-to-date as new guidelines and regulations are constantly being introduced, but with long shifts in high-pressure roles, it can be hard to find the time to fit in more learning.

The solution, however, could be healthcare e-learning. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) commissioned Imperial College London to carry out research into the benefits of e-learning for healthcare professionals during their initial training at university.

How effective is healthcare e-learning?

During their research, scientists analysed data from 108 studies, and found that learners are just as able to retain information from online training courses as they are through more traditional classroom-based teaching.

Of course, some of the skills required in healthcare can only be learnt in a practical setting, but e-learning can complement traditional training to provide students with a more rounded learning experience.

Dr Josip Car, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, explained: "E-learning programmes could potentially help address the shortage of healthcare workers by enabling greater access to education, especially in the developing world where the need for more health professionals is greatest."

With WHO figures published earlier that year revealing that the world was in need of an extra 7.2 million healthcare professionals to provide adequate standards of care, healthcare e-learning provides a much-needed option for training large numbers of people remotely.

Benefits of e-learning for healthcare professionals

Providing e-learning for healthcare assistants and professionals is a straightforward way for employers to train workers on new guidelines or a new piece of legislation, but with minimal disruption to day-to-day care.

As e-learning courses can be accessed from anywhere there is a computer, it removes the need for doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants to spend too long away from their duties to attend a classroom-based course. With Virtual College's healthcare e-learning courses, if you are called away, our Learning Management System will automatically record your progress, allowing you to pick up where you left off next time.

E-learning is self-paced too, so if you haven't understood a piece of information the first time, you can go over it again without having to feel awkward putting up your hand and asking for it to be repeated.

With healthcare e-learning, you're in control, so you can keep studying until you're confident you'll be able to provide the best standard of care for your patients.

At Virtual College, we work with a range of healthcare organisations to support the delivery of a Healthcare e-Academy; find out more about the courses on offer here.