We sat down with Raphael, 43, a healthcare assistant based in Dundee, Scotland. In this interview, he talks about his previous experience of healthcare training and why he would recommend FuturU to others.
Can you tell us about your healthcare journey so far?
I’ve been a healthcare assistant for about two years now. When I started out, I mainly worked in a community setting. I would go to individual service users’ homes and provide them with support services, which could be anything from assistance with meal preparation, medicine administration and emotional support. When I changed employers, I started providing additional support to people in residential facilities run by local councils and private healthcare services.
What’s the favourite part of your job?
The best part of the job is the satisfaction of walking out the door, knowing I have offered value to that person and that they’re happy, feel respected and valued. A question I often get is “when are you coming back?”, which means a lot to me and shows that this person wants me to come back and support him or her.
What’s been your experience of healthcare training?
Before FuturU, I was paying for all of my training. I needed certain qualifications to find employment as a healthcare assistant, and ended up paying monthly e-learning subscriptions of anywhere between £20 and £40. For example, when I needed to do moving and handling, I used one platform and when I needed to add new competencies as a support worker, I had to use another platform.
What impact did paying for your training have on you?
There were certain conveniences I could no longer afford as a result of paying for my training, which is hard as I have a family to look after. We had to cut back on food, heating and phone bills and I was late on some of my payments. There were times when I’d want to do a shift, but I couldn’t afford the travel costs because I’d spent all the money on training. In these cases, I had to ask for support from friends and family. This went on for about four or five months.
How has free learning helped you?
I have been using FuturU for about seven months and it’s great because I’m no longer having to spend £40 a month on e-learning. I’ve also gained new skills and competencies that tie in directly with my career prospects. I can now learn for free, build my competencies and add to my resume, which is very important.
I am also a social worker in addition to being a healthcare assistant and part of my annual requirement to remain qualified as a social worker are the CPD certified courses. There are a number of courses I can dig into on FuturU platform which count towards my CPD hours, such as safeguarding and equality, diversity and human rights. The fact that it’s free to do these is a massive help.
I can also use my FuturU certificates for any jobs I apply for. For example, I was offered some work as a special needs teaching assistant in a school and needed to prove I had completed all of my safeguarding training. They accepted my FuturU certificates, which are CPD-accredited, which meant I was able to start quickly.
What’s your learning experience been like with FuturU?
FuturU is user friendly and the user interface is also appealing, unlike a lot of other learning platforms who present their materials in a really cluttered way. The studying is self-paced and I like the variety of content, as I get bored if it’s all presented in the same way. I prefer to learn through a combination of video, text and scenarios, which makes FuturU’s approach very appealing and engaging. Overall, FuturU makes it easy for you to learn, be involved and engaged in the process.
What needs to change about healthcare training?
A lot of people who are out of work want to go back into employment, but if there’s a roadblock like expensive training, that will make it difficult or almost impossible for them. When I did my initial training to get into the healthcare space, it was tough at some points. It was 2021 and it was post Covid and so many people were leaving their healthcare roles. If I wasn’t already committed to staying in the role, I would have fallen off the grid because of the training subscription costs.
People who really want to work in healthcare roles should be given support to access free training. Once you have those initial qualifications, it’s easier to find your footing and then afford higher qualifications if you choose to. There’s a need for more people in the sector, which is why it’s important it’s more accessible.
Why should someone consider using FuturU?
FuturU is ideal for anyone who is interested in starting a career in healthcare, continuing their professional development or renewing their skills and building their confidence. FuturU opens doors to people who want to go into healthcare and I can see this being helpful for people in other parts of the world.