Experiential Learning And Online Healthcare Programs
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There are a few questions we get all the time at MedCerts, so today we thought we would address some of the most common ones – How can you teach healthcare courses online? Without hands-on experience, how can I be trusted to perform medical procedures on real people?
Each MedCerts program utilizes the 12 Elements of eLearning, which includes 3D virtual scenarios, training simulations and courses developed and taught by industry experts. This makes us stand out in a sea of other healthcare certification programs, but that’s just the online portion.
We understand the importance of turning theory into skills and have found that the healthcare industry is a very dynamic market, and externships don’t meet the needs of all employers. Oftentimes different organizations require their own unique training solutions to fill positions. This hands-on experience is called experiential learning and can come in many forms.
The best way to get hands-on experience is a paid position with an employer. Most employers will hire students even before they’ve passed their certification exam. Employers prefer this option because it streamlines the hiring process, from student to employee without the need for an intermediate step like an internship or externship. MedCerts will attempt to find these opportunities as a first step to meet certification requirements and to get students into their careers faster.
If employment is not an option for you there are other ways to meet clinical requirements or get hands-on training. These are job shadowing experiences, volunteer opportunities, externships or internships.
So how do these four opportunities differ?
A job shadowing experience allows a student to shadow or observe someone in the field doing the same job the student will be doing once they are hired into their field of study. This allows the student to get experience in their field and can even serve as an extended job interview for certain positions.
Volunteer work and job shadowing are both unpaid opportunities that can work as an extended interview. The difference is that volunteer work can take on many different forms and be either short or long term events, whereas job shadowing is a specific opportunity following someone in the field. Some examples of volunteer work could include working in the emergency center of a hospital or in preventative medicine.
While internships and externships sound similar and often get mistaken for each other, there are some key differences. Interns are recruited by the organization, hired, paid a lower rate than a full-time position, given set hours and responsibilities where they gain their direct practice. After they pass their exam they could be kept on as an intern for a set period of time or hired into a full-time position. Externs, on the other hand, are typically placed by a third party and are not paid. There is a formal agreement with a company for a few weeks as “free help” to gain their hands-on skills. After externship is complete, students can apply for a full-time position at their externship site or look for work elsewhere. These options are great for employers because they get to see how the individual can handle the day-to-day life in healthcare without the full commitment of hiring them as an employee.
Our Experiential Learning services are another way MedCerts is pioneering the healthcare career training industry. This allows us to tailor our efforts to what works in each market, giving us a more effective approach than our competitors. First and foremost, our focus will always be trying to find job opportunities for students. If employment is not an available option, we will assist in finding another Experiential Learning opportunity. This additional hands-on training adds experience to the student’s resume to make them more qualified for open positions.
There isn’t just one kind of person so there shouldn’t be just one way to a better future and career. We’re pioneering higher education and the workforce system to create better opportunities for everyone.