Education Pioneers Join Forces to Train Healthcare Workers for COVID-19 Testing

March 23, 2020

Penn Foster and Southern New Hampshire University join Guild Education to launch free training program as need for testing expands dramatically

Boston, MA - March 23, 2020 - Healthcare workers and volunteers have a new resource to learn safe and accurate testing for the COVID-19 virus, thanks to a free program launched today by a coalition of education and training providers.

The short-form course, developed by Penn Foster in partnership with Southern New Hampshire University and Guild Education, responds to an urgent and growing need for skilled healthcare professionals as the virus continues to spread throughout the United States. Since the launch of the program last week, more than 1,100 frontline healthcare workers, including pharmacy technicians, nurses, and medical assistants, have participated in the training.

“In increasingly uncertain times, education and training providers have a responsibility to work together and respond to the rapidly shifting needs of the healthcare system,” said Frank Britt, CEO at Penn Foster. “This is about realizing the potential of online learning to support the workers who are on the front lines of keeping the country safe and healthy.”

The launch of the new training program comes at a time when efforts to increase testing for the virus are rapidly accelerating across the country. New approaches, like drive-through testing, have the potential to expand testing by orders of magnitude, but doing so will require testing sites to recruit and train qualified workers with the skills to identify symptoms and test safely and effectively.

“Now more than ever, we need to act quickly and responsibly to help #StopTheSpread of COVID-19,” said Josh Scott, President of Guild Education. “We want to ensure that workers #onthefrontline have the resources they need during this time of uncertainty, and this free online training program is a step in the right direction to helping keep Americans safe.”

Available for free online, the new program instructs health professionals and volunteers on the fundamentals of testing for the COVID-19 virus, including symptoms, hygiene precautions, and correct medical procedures. Intended for qualified healthcare employees and volunteers to use under the supervision of medical professionals, the course will enable healthcare providers to expand the pool of talent for administering tests at a time when the need is becoming increasingly critical.

“The outbreak of the new coronavirus is not just putting unprecedented pressure on healthcare professionals, but also leading to talent shortages as training providers grapple with the transition to online learning,” said Greg Fowler, President, Global Campus at SNHU. “We need to act quickly if we want to keep up with growing demand and provide the care that Americans so desperately need.”

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