As the death toll of Covid-19 surpasses 500,000 in the US, reports are emerging detailing the reality of the situation in care homes, which represent more than 30% of overall mortality. The pressure that care homes and their staff have been experiencing is evident, as they struggle to contain the spread of infection among their highly vulnerable population. Many care home facilities are struggling with staggeringly high employee turnover rates and under-resourcing, and questions are being raised over the preparedness of these institutions to protect their residents. The researchers found that the high turnover made it difficult to enforce health protocols at nursing homes and contributed to the rampant spread of the virus inside them.¹ ²
As a result, it is of paramount importance to identify training solutions which enable nurses to be trained effectively, efficiently, and in ways that meet the needs of the modern healthcare worker. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), a leading body in the field of nursing, has released guidelines stating that new training solutions must enable frontline employees to complete “bite-sized” training remotely and conveniently.³
A recent study analysing 15,645 federally recognized US care homes found that the average turnover for care home employees was 128% of all staff (with some care homes seeing figures of up to 300%).⁴ New employees with limited training step in to fill these vacancies due to a shortage in trained professionals. Stepping into a new nursing role is a significant challenge in ordinary times, but doing so in a pandemic adds even more pressure to new employees who have to be trained in order to provide a reasonable standard of care and to safeguard the vulnerable populations they care for. As a result there is a “training emergency” in care homes today: it is necessary to onboard and train large numbers of new workers, but it is also necessary to find ways to reduce turnover itself.
Facilitating onboarding and training for new staff presents a major challenge for care homes which may already be short-staffed. To lighten the load, a training solution must meet the needs of frontline workers who are on-the-go and have limited time due to the intensity of their work.