Wadhwani Foundation (WF), in collaboration with Narayana Health (NH), announced the success of its skills training pilot program for NH’s healthcare support staff. The program aims to fill the void of critical skills needed in the healthcare industry that are currently missing from formal and informal nursing education programs. Using videos and interactive, technology-based lessons, accessible on an online platform, WF’s courseware is designed for rapid rollout. To date, WF has reached more than 1,000 nurses and nursing assistants across 20 Narayana Health centers in just six months. This program is part of Wadhwani Foundation’s larger vision of skilling India by leveraging technology and transformative learning techniques.
India continues to face a growing gap in maintaining a skilled labor force, or knowledge workers, to conduct some of the nation’s most critical – though often overlooked – jobs. Support and paramedical staff represent this segment in the healthcare industry; individuals are required to perform a skilled job without access to a job competency driven curriculum or having undergone formal training. According to industry experts, India’s health care sector faces a shortage of 1M nursing assistants. WF strives to meet this need by producing quality, open source training solutions.
“Our strategic collaboration with Wadhwani Foundation is a step in the right direction. India’s healthcare industry is facing an acute shortage of support staff and I am glad that the skill development initiative of Wadhwani Foundation has already skilled over 1,000 competent staff. This happened despite full shift schedules, because these learner-centric e-modules do not drain experienced teaching nurses’ time and allow the trainees flexibility in taking courses inside and outside the classroom. Since we seek to expand from 5,000 beds to 30,000 beds in three years, rather than running disparate and traditional teacher driven training courses, this approach of creating and deploying repeatable, modular self and peer-driven lessons can help us realize this goal without diluting the skills of our people or quality of our care,” said Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health.
WF worked closely with practitioners at Narayana Health to identify critical nursing and patient care skills, job needs, required training processes, as well as curriculum and generic content. Wadhwani Foundation’s instructional design team restructured course content to leverage experiential, peer-driven, interactive, and learner-centric pedagogies. By using videos, games, simulations, and group activities to deliver content, WF’s approach ensures that students receive a 360 degree learning experience. All courses are deployed using an
easily accessible online technology platform, reducing the dependence on and workload of teachers, while providing flexibility for students to study at their own pace and location.
The carefully designed job competency curriculum includes typical medical procedures, as well as functional English, Life & Workplace skills, Basic IT skills, Occupational Safety, Health & Environment training, and Medical Math. More than 160 hours of content has been developed since early 2013 and the curriculum continues to be piloted for skill upgradation with new nurses, patient care assistants, and other new and existing healthcare support staff. Feedback from students has been uniformly positive with every single student preferring it to traditional classes.
Elaborating further on the successful partnership with Narayana Health, Ajay Kela, Wadhwani Foundation’s CEO, said, “Job outcomes should be the main criteria by which we evaluate skill training and the best way to develop such courses is to work hand in glove with the employers. In partnership with Narayana Health, one of India’s largest healthcare service providers, we have successfully created a technology-enabled curriculum for comprehensive training of healthcare workers that will be available to the Industry. This pilot is part of the Foundation’s larger vision to develop a market ready skilled force across industries through our innovative and scalable technology solution. Our partnership with Narayana Health is a positive first step in that direction.”
Narayana Health is mainstreaming Wadhwani Foundation’s initiative as part of its comprehensive professional development plan for all employees. Wadhwani Foundation has begun to roll out its healthcare curriculum to other healthcare providers. The roadmap also includes deployment of NH internal training in feeder and community colleges/ and other training providers. WF is also in discussions with AICTE and the Healthcare Sector Skills Council to make the courseware a part of the national school and college curriculum through the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). The stage is set for a revolution in job driven education.