The Impact of New Technologies on Healthcare Training Programs

In recent years, the integration of advanced technologies into healthcare training programs has dramatically reshaped the educational landscape for future medical professionals. These technologies not only enhance learning experiences but also prepare students for a healthcare environment that is increasingly dependent on innovative tools for patient care and medical procedures. This article explores the various ways in which new technologies are influencing healthcare training, providing insights crucial for curriculum development and the cultivation of future skill sets.

Revolutionizing Learning with Virtual Reality

Virtual reality technology is making a profound impact on healthcare training by offering immersive simulations. These VR environments allow students to practice complex medical procedures in a controlled, risk-free setting. The ability to repeat procedures without the consequences associated with real-life operations helps students build confidence and proficiency. This safe, scalable method of training is particularly beneficial in specialties that require a high level of precision and expertise, such as surgery and emergency medicine.

AR to Enhance Real-World Training

Augmented reality (AR) enhances the learning experience by overlaying digital information onto the real world. During educational sessions or live surgeries, AR can project detailed anatomical structures or display dynamic visualizations of complex pathologies directly in the students’ field of vision. This method not only deepens the understanding of human biology but also helps in visualizing theoretical knowledge in a practical, interactive manner. As a result, AR is becoming an indispensable tool in medical education, bridging the gap between textbook learning and real-world application.

AI as a Teaching Assistant

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare training is rapidly growing, with systems designed to educate students on diagnostics and patient management. AI algorithms are capable of analyzing vast datasets to identify patterns, predict outcomes, and suggest diagnoses, thus offering students a unique perspective on clinical decision-making processes. This exposure to AI-driven diagnostics prepares students for a future where technology and healthcare are intricately linked, ensuring they are adept at integrating AI tools into their clinical practice.

Preparing for the Future with Telemedicine Training

With the rise of telemedicine, healthcare training programs are increasingly incorporating modules that focus on delivering care remotely. Students learn not only about the technology but also about the nuances of digital communication, such as maintaining empathy and ensuring clarity without the benefit of physical presence. Training in telemedicine is essential as it equips future healthcare providers with the skills needed to offer effective, compassionate care in virtual settings—a growing facet of medical practice.

In-Clinic Technology Training

Training on new medical technologies can also occur directly within clinical settings. For instance, providers of shockwave therapy machines often visit clinics to train staff on the proper use of these devices. This in-person training allows healthcare professionals to learn by doing, which is crucial for technologies that require hands-on operation. Such training sessions not only minimize the need for travel but also offer real-time patient treatment experiences, often at a discounted rate, benefiting both learners and patients.

Customized Learning with 3D Printing

The adoption of 3D printing technology in medical training offers significant benefits, particularly in surgical education. This technology enables the creation of anatomically accurate models that reflect the specific complexities of individual patients or rare conditions. These models are invaluable in surgical training, where understanding the unique anatomical nuances of each case is critical. By providing customized, hands-on training tools, 3D printing enhances the educational experience and prepares students for real-life medical challenges.

Wearable Tech for Monitoring and Data Analysis

Wearable devices are increasingly used in healthcare training, teaching students about real-time patient monitoring and data analysis. These devices, which can track various health metrics like heart rate and activity levels, offer students live data to interpret and respond to. This experience is vital in a healthcare setting where quick, data-driven decision-making can significantly impact patient outcomes.

The impact of new technologies on healthcare training programs is profound and multifaceted. These technologies not only enhance educational experiences but also prepare future healthcare professionals for a world where technological proficiency is as crucial as medical knowledge. As these technologies evolve, so too must healthcare curricula, ensuring that the next generation of healthcare providers is well-equipped to meet the challenges of modern medicine.

 


Julia Merrill is on a mission. She wants to use information to close the gap between medical providers and their patients. Her site offers an abundance of information from tips on finding the right medical care to help with dealing with insurance companies to general health and wellness advice and more.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

 

Mental Health Support Strategies for Healthcare Personnel

On the surface, nursing jobs meet so many of the criteria that lead to workplace satisfaction. They can elevate a person’s community standing. Most people recognize and appreciate the services of all healthcare workers, but perhaps none more than nurses.

They provide a person with meaningful work that they can be proud of. In a world where workplace satisfaction is almost non-existent, that is an enormous benefit that can’t be ignored. They even command salaries well above the national median.

So why are nurses leaving the healthcare profession in droves? At the time of writing this, around half of all nurses starting today will have quit within the next five years.

A key reason: Burnout. Nursing is a stressful job. What can be done to address the mental health needs of healthcare workers?

Understanding the Problem

Nurses report heightened rates of stress, depression, and anxiety. A wellness survey conducted by the American Nurses Foundation revealed that 40% of nurses say they experience feelings of depression. For context, rates of depression among the general population hover at around 14%.

That’s a MAJOR difference— one that could account for the high turnover rate in nursing almost on its own.

What about the job is so difficult for people to process from a mental health perspective? Nurses:

  • See life at its hardest. When your job is to take care of people during what may very well be the hardest thing they’ve ever gone through, you may naturally find that their pain influences the way you feel. The extent to which this is the case will depend on the job. School nurses, for example, do not experience nearly as much trauma as those working in the hospice setting. Still, it remains a fact that most people who come before a nurse are there because something went wrong in their life.
  • Nurses deal with death much more often than the general population. Imagine that you’ve been taking care of a patient for the last two weeks. You aren’t friends, of course. Though you see them in an incredibly intimate setting, your relationship is strictly professional. Still, you feel like you know them. You’ve met their kids. Witnessed their fears and their vulnerabilities. You’ve come to enjoy popping into their room, knowing they will have a kind word or even a joke. Think about what it would feel like to watch that person die. Nurses have that experience all the time. Afterward, they don’t sit down with a therapist or social worker. They may not have any time at all to process their feelings. They keep working and then go home to people who can’t possibly understand what it is like to deal with death every day.
  • The job is stressful. Nurses make decisions that could mean life or death for their patients. That’s an enormous burden— one that very naturally translates into heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

To make matters worse, the working conditions that most nurses experience don’t translate well into good mental health. They work twelve-hour shifts, sometimes at night or on weekends and holidays. They are always on their feet. Work-life balance can be tricky.

These factors accumulate into a work environment that doesn’t produce ideal mental health conditions. What can be done about it?

Modifying Working Conditions

One of the simplest fixes is to give nurses scheduling options that are more conducive to their mental health. Twelve-hour shifts are designed mostly for administrative purposes. It’s easier to plan for two-shift rotations than it would be for three or four.

Admittedly, some nurses like this arrangement. While your work days are crazy, it gives you more flexibility with the rest of your week. When you only work three out of every seven days, it’s easier to plan trips and enjoy more time with your family.

However, the cons may very well outweigh the pros. The human mind is only designed to sustain high levels of concentration for around four hours a day. That doesn’t mean you are a zombie the rest of the time. It does mean you have a limited window to produce your best work. Is it wise to have healthcare workers so far exceeding that window?

Hospitals that switch to shorter scheduling sequences may boost the quality of concerns while improving patient outcomes.

Providing Mental Health Resources

It can also help simply to connect nurses with more opportunities to address their mental health needs. For example, counselors who are available when the job gets hard. Supplementary services (health, fitness, mindfulness) designed to elevate overall quality of life.

Even communication channels among hospital staff make it easier for nurses to vent. Many nurses lack social outlets for their work-related stress. Providing that sense of community could boost retention and improve the way nurses feel about their work.

Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs are particularly valuable for new hires but can be useful for any working nurse. They provide that valuable social outlet mentioned earlier, but they also connect new hires or struggling professionals with someone who can relate to their concerns and provide good advice.

Businesses that implement robust mentorship programs typically experience much higher employee retention than those that do not. Why? The employees feel more comfortable with their work.

Conclusion

There isn’t much that can be done about the core mental health challenges that are baked into nursing. Nurses have constant difficult experiences. It’s just part of the job description. However, hospitals can do more to help them by providing a robust support network.

Do mentorship programs or group communication apps take the pain away when a patient dies? Of course not. Taken together, however, these considerations can produce a better overall work environment. The key is to give healthcare professionals the tools they need to feel better on and off the job.

Doing so will not only improve retention but also boost patient outcomes.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT: Aleece Fosnight, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP

The Sexual Health Trailblazer

It is hardly an exaggeration to describe Aleece Fosnight as a trailblazer. This board-certified physician assistant is shaking things up and addressing concerns that have long been overlooked in the field of women’s healthcare.

Diverse Expertise That Matters

Fosnight’s expertise spans a wide range of important topics that have a direct impact on people’s lives. Just look at some of the things she specializes in:

  • Pelvic floor disorders including urinary incontinence, prolapse, and pelvic pain.
  • Sexual health concerns including low desire, erectile dysfunction, and sexuality during and after pregnancy.
  • Gender-affirming support for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Navigating the menopause transition
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • BDSM/kink awareness
  • Trauma-informed care

She has gone above and beyond, receiving specialized training from top programs at the University of Kentucky and the University of Michigan. Fosnight is also certified by leading professional organizations, including AASECT, NAMS, and ISSWSH.

An Accomplished Pioneer

Fosnight has achieved an impressive number of accomplishments in her career. She was previously president of the Association of PAs in OBGYN. Currently, she serves on numerous professional committees at the local, state, and national levels. Fosnight’s work has appeared in prominent physician assistant journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the PA Clinics Journal’s Special Topic on Women’s Health. She regularly gives lectures at events and works as an adjunct faculty member teaching human sexuality courses.

Her pioneering work has also received widespread acclaim. She was honored with the coveted Point of Care Network Top 10 PA Award in 2019 and 2022 for her innovative contributions to sexuality, urology, and women’s health care. These prizes recognize her pioneering work in raising standards and drawing much-needed attention to these vital areas of medicine.

Making Bigger Moves

In 2020, Fosnight took a daring move by opening her own private practice in Asheville, North Carolina: The Fosnight Center for Sexual Health. It’s a multifunctional medical center that is pushing the boundaries.

But she didn’t stop there. In addition, Fosnight formed the Fosnight Foundation, a non-profit organization. Its purpose is to educate professionals about sexual health and give financing to improve access to healthcare services in local areas.

There’s no denying it: Aleece Fosnight is a true trailblazer who is actively working to improve standards of care and people’s quality of life when it comes to sexual health and related concerns that have been ignored far too long. She’s out there doing important stuff.

Interested in learning more? You’re in luck! Fosnight will be speaking at these upcoming Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts conferences:

Innovative Healthcare Careers Sparked by Evidence-Based Practice

Healthcare is constantly evolving to keep up with the most scientifically supported approaches to achieving good patient outcomes. Evidence-based practice is a concept that fully embraces that essential healthcare truth. Every patient is an individual and every individual requires personalized considerations when making health-related decisions.

In this article, we take a look at what evidence-based practice is, how it works, and what careers use it.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

One would hope the phrase is a bit of a redundancy—at least in this context. What is healthcare work, after all, if not evidence-based? While doctors and nurses have always leveraged their training and factual understanding of medicine to achieve the best possible healthcare outcomes, they haven’t and don’t always apply the “evidence-based” approach being described here.

Evidence-based healthcare is a very specific research-centric process in which care providers identify a clinical problem or question and take steps to investigate and address it. It’s time-consuming because it is very individualized. The “clinical problem,” is not necessarily transferable.

If two patients come in with congestive heart failure, the evidence-based research cycle may take place for both of them because there are other variables that will influence their outcome.

Because evidence-based practice is very research-demanding in an industry that often has little to nothing to spare it is not always applied consistently. However, it has been shown to produce good results, both for individual patients and in the way healthcare providers think about the services that they offer.

While there aren’t a lot of careers born specifically out of evidence-based practice, there are many that have been influenced by it.

It is now a concept that is taught both in nursing and medical school. It is particularly prominent in advanced curriculums. For example, if you wish to become a:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neo-Natal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Gerontological Nurse

You will probably deal routinely with evidence-based practice. Unfortunately, because it is a very demanding practice, it isn’t a solution that hospitals can leverage in all situations. However, it remains a desirable framework through which healthcare providers can filter and inform their decisions.

Informatics Nursing

Informatics nurses work primarily with numbers. They record and process healthcare data as a way to better strategize for individual patients and to provide broader solutions that can influence a hospital’s overall operations.

They are an enormous resource when it comes to maximizing efficiency. Hospitals that are short-staffed or not funded adequately can make the most of what resources they do have by understanding their numbers.

While informatics nursing has existed for years, it is a career path that evolves constantly and is more prominent than ever now that AI and other data-processing tools have made it more accessible.

Informatics nursing was not born of evidence-based practice but it certainly operates in the same arena, providing hospitals with the tools required to leverage factually-supported decisions.

What is the Quickest Way to Become a Nurse?

If you are interested in joining the world of healthcare, you are probably wondering—what is the quickest way to become a nurse? Nursing is a very popular career pivot because you can get certified relatively quickly—particularly if you already have a college degree.

People heading to college for the first time will often need to deal with pre-requisite classes that significantly increase the time and money they spend on school. If you have your degree, you can skip those requirements and enter an “accelerated program.”

Just how accelerated that program is will depend largely on your capacity, and what opportunities are available near you. Often, people who are able to fully commit may complete their educational requirements in 12-18 months. From there, you just need to pass the NCLEX—nursing’s big, bad, standardized test—to get a job in the world of healthcare.

If you are interested in a more advanced nursing career— for example, one that requires a graduate degree— you may still be able to “bundle,” your education in a direct-to-hire package. These curriculums are designed to allow students to complete their undergraduate and graduate work in a self-contained period, sometimes shorter than getting just an undergraduate degree would have been.

It takes most people 6-7 years of college to get their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Through an accelerated program, people who already have their undergraduate degree may be able to do everything in around three years.

This opens a lot of doors, both in terms of salary expectations and in the job that you will ultimately be qualified for. Many times, nurses who want to specialize in very specific fields must get their master’s degree to do it.

There are so many paths to becoming a healthcare worker. Research what opportunities are available to you, and figure out the strategy that feels most accessible. The key is to strike a balance between efficiency and quality of life. Everyone is a little bit different in terms of how they do with school work, and accelerated programs are—well. Accelerated. Choose the pace that works for you.

As a future healthcare worker, avoiding burnout will be just as important a skill as anything they teach you in nursing school.

Conclusion

Evidence-based care practices are just one of the many modern concepts influencing the direction of healthcare. Digital technology, for example, is shaping the field as much as anything else. Hospitals all over the country are looking for administrators and even doctors and nurses with a good grip on software solutions that can help improve patient outcomes and improve efficiency.

There are tons of ways to get into healthcare. Find the career that suits your interests, skills, and passions, and go from there.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Why Digital Upskilling is Your Key to a Resilient Healthcare Career

Any healthcare profession requires a significant amount of in-depth knowledge. This is why continuous education (CE) is required to maintain licensing for many professionals. Nurses, physicians, and pharmacists are among those who must attend board-approved courses. This ensures they keep up with the latest medical research, innovations, and regulatory changes that apply to their positions.

There are also courses that may not necessarily be required to hold a medical license but can nonetheless boost professionals’ career resilience. One such area of study is digital skills. The healthcare landscape is evolving and knowing how to navigate emerging tools is essential for staying in step with it. Let’s explore how you, as a health professional, can approach digital upskilling in an effective and career-enhancing way.

Understanding the Imperatives

Upskilling will always take time and energy. As a healthcare professional, you know how precious these resources are. So, it’s worth looking a little closer at why you should commit to digital upskilling in particular.

Maintain relevance

Digital technology is disrupting the healthcare industry and careers within it in a variety of ways at the moment. Tools like artificial intelligence (AI) driven virtual nursing assistants are already able to handle basic and repetitive tasks, allowing medical staff to focus attention on patients. Monitoring devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) and telemedical conference platforms have become integral parts of remote patient care. Having a good understanding of how to interact with digital healthcare technology helps keep your skill set relevant in a rapidly changing landscape.

Boost your value

One of the challenges of the changing medical tech landscape is that, unfortunately, the healthcare industry is facing a digital skills gap. All the new technology available to professionals isn’t of much use if there isn’t staff with the skills to use it. As a result, gaining digital skills may give you an advantage when applying for roles and negotiating for pay raises and promotions.

Support positive patient outcomes

Medicine, at its core, is an industry populated by caring professionals. Though there are career imperatives, it’s also worth noting that digital upskilling can improve patient outcomes. Understanding how to use AI diagnosis software may help identify and address conditions faster. As a result, patients can benefit from early intervention that could boost their treatment outcomes. Telemedical tools can also improve access for those with mobility challenges or who live in underserved communities. This empowers them to get regular checkups and timely medical attention that supports their ongoing wellness.

Knowing why to digitally upskill is just the start, though. It’s also important to make mindful decisions about what areas of digital knowledge to invest your valuable time in.

Identifying Learning Opportunities

Let’s face it: you have limited time at your disposal. It’s worth taking a strategic approach to get the most relevant learning from your digital CE. This begins with researching the digital skills that are most likely to be in demand in the industry both now and in the near future.

There are a handful of digital skills that are generally regarded as important across the healthcare sector. These include:

  • Cybersecurity awareness: Hospitals are targets of cybercriminals either to cause disruption or to steal valuable patient data. Having up-to-date education about the methods cybercriminals use and how to behave responsibly in healthcare spaces is key to both a more resilient healthcare career and a more robust industry.
  • Telehealth: Remote patient interactions are likely to become more prominent everywhere from psychological therapy to general practice. As a result, healthcare professionals need to gain proficiency in not just utilizing the tech tools, but also how to adapt characteristics such as body language and bedside manner to a virtual environment.

Alongside these general skills, you can also focus on the specialized digital knowledge related to your part of the industry. For instance, those working in medical coding are likely to see AI being used more often to enhance efficiency. Taking courses in the basics of natural language processing (NLP) and even writing generative AI prompts may help you more effectively collaborate with this software.

Getting Employer Support

Embarking on digital upskilling can be challenging. It’s important to remember you’re not alone in this endeavor. Your employer has a role to play, too. Just as you benefit from your education, there are also multiple ways that companies gain from supporting continuous worker learning. Employees with up-to-date tech skills can spur innovations and keep up with industry trends, maintaining a competitive edge. Companies also have a particular interest in ensuring workers have the knowledge to fill industry skills gaps.

Therefore, take the time to talk to your supervisors or human resources (HR) representatives about your plans to upskill. Some of the resources for digital learning you could seek might include:

  • Subsidized certifications: While there are some free online courses, many still come with fees. Ask the facility you work for about their willingness to subsidize the costs involved. Many employers have a budget for this as part of development programs or worker benefits.
  • Study time: It takes a dedication of time to both attend lectures and complete coursework projects. Many healthcare workers have tight schedules and the last thing you want is to risk burnout by squeezing a course in. You could seek an allowance of paid time off (PTO) for professional studying purposes to ease your burden.

Seeking support alone can be daunting. It may be better to collaborate with colleagues. You could highlight to administrators why learning support should be a part of the company culture, paying particular attention to how it benefits workers, businesses, and patients.

Conclusion

Digital upskilling can help you stay relevant, valuable, and effective in your healthcare career. It’s vital to take some time to identify what specific skill areas are most in demand and work with your employer to get support for your efforts. This isn’t just a way to stay up-to-date in your current role, though. By exploring the new range of digital tools in your sector, you may also find fascinating professional niches that you can explore further, contributing to a more enriching career experience.

 


 Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

How Will Increased Remote Work in Healthcare Impact Both Employees and Patients?

Some jobs just can’t be done from home. Teachers do their best work in classrooms surrounded by students. Salespeople continue to value the personal face-to-face relationships that fuel their success. And try ordering a cappuccino from a barista who is working from home.

For a long time, it was assumed that healthcare workers fell into this same category of employment. They had to go into their workplace because that’s where all the patients are, right?

It turns out, there are a lot of tasks nurses and other healthcare professionals can do from home. In this article, we take a look at the rise of remote work in the world of healthcare.

Who Gets to Work From Home?

Hospitals have enormous administrative staffs. When you drive past a city hospital that is tall enough to poke at the moon, it’s natural to wonder just how many people are sick in this town. Is it safe to even be here?

Fear not! While much of this large hypothetical building is dedicated to patient care, an equally large portion of it may be serving an administrative function. Desk work that can just as readily be done from home.

Many are surprised to learn that nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners are also getting the opportunity to work more from home. No, that doesn’t mean seeing patients in their dining rooms.

“Frontline healthcare workers,” as they are often called do not only see patients. That is an important part of their jobs, but they also do a lot on their computers, documenting details and performing other paperwork requirements.

A recent study found that nurses working twelve-hour shifts often only spend a quarter of that time in patient rooms. The rest of the time they are parked in front of the keyboard.

The implication of this figure is complicated. Just because nurses aren’t always in patient rooms does not necessarily mean they aren’t needed on their floors.

Healthcare workers know all too well that things on the job are peaceful— until they aren’t. When patients need help, they can’t wait.

Most hospitals don’t have the option to significantly reduce their staffing assignments to allow for more at-home work.

However, they do have the option to play around with “flex hours,” letting those who can complete some of their work at home under more flexible circumstances.

Below, we take a look at how this might impact healthcare.

Improved Productivity

The technology that allows people to work from home has existed for a long time. Working from home failed to catch on during the early stages of the Internet partially because many worried it would harm productivity.

After several years of almost standardized remote work, it’s safe to say that the productivity myth has been thoroughly debunked.

In many cases, people actually get more done at home than they did at the workplace. Offices—or hospitals as the case may be— are full of small but potent productivity killers. Desk conversations. Meetings that could have been emails. And we can’t forget the commute.

Most people spend thirty minutes each way just driving to their jobs.

Remote work can and often does cut the fat out of a person’s work routine. For healthcare workers, this means that they will have more time and energy to devote to the important aspects of their job— choices that directly influence patient outcomes.

Easier Recruitment

The potential to work from home is still a rare and enticing benefit in healthcare. Consider this development from the perspective of a rural hospital that has struggled to fully staff its floors. They simply can’t convince new nurses to move out into the country for a job when they could just as easily find work closer to home.

But if they could leverage a hybrid schedule in their recruitment efforts? This may be enough of an enticement to win over members of a generation who are more focused on work/life balance than any other employment consideration.

Improved Job Satisfaction

That’s the ultimate goal of hybrid work schedules. Today’s employers are constantly competing on quality of life grounds because that’s what modern employees want— and because it is often cheaper than leveraging higher salaries.

The remote work movement has been generally well-received in how it provides people with improved work/life balance.

Improving job satisfaction for doctors and nurses can go a long way toward reducing unsustainable turnover numbers.

Potential Problems

Remote work hasn’t been perfect. Common issues include technical difficulties—if a person’s WIFI cuts out, that simple issue can kill an entire day’s worth of productivity— loneliness, and balancing the schedules of people who live in all different parts of the world.

Most of these major remote work issues don’t pertain to the hybrid work environment that most healthcare facilities are implementing.

That doesn’t mean that remote work in healthcare will be painless. It’s new and “new,” often means challenging.

However, the circumstances for a successful rollout are certainly present.

How Will Patients Be Impacted?

All of the benefits described above should trickle down to patients. Burnout is a very real problem and one that can have a MAJOR impact on job performance. When doctors and nurses feel less stress, they will almost always engage more effectively at work.

This can have a very big impact on future patient outcomes.

Why Now?

Healthcare shortages are still very real. The United States labor market has seen wages cool off as the economy finally rebounds completely from Covid. Hospitals that were offering sometimes fairly large salary increases to attract new employees have largely stepped back from that strategy.

They need to leverage incentives to attract employees and the potential to work from home is a (relatively) easy way to do that.

It’s also an effective one. Burnout is such a major cause of turnover and remote work can help alleviate it.

Wage stagnation certainly should not be the consequence of this move, but if hospitals want to find more ways to entice doctors and nurses to stick around, this is a good way to do it.

The benefits will undoubtedly be passed down to the patients as well.

Less burnout means less stress. Less stress typically means better patient outcomes. Right now, remote work seems like an effective way to address so many of the issues plaguing Western healthcare.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Why Emergency Room Roles are in High Demand

Did you know? Healthcare is the fastest-growing field in the United States. This declaration comes to us straight from the horse’s mouth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published findings in the summer of 2023 that indicated doctors and nurses would be in high demand for the next ten years.

This information isn’t radically surprising for anyone who has been paying attention to the news. During Covid-19 we couldn’t stop hearing about how hospitals didn’t have the staff to handle the enormous increase in patient loads.

Last year, an ER nurse made national news after calling emergency services to request backup help. There hadn’t been a bus crash that sent 90 people to the hospital all at once. They simply didn’t have enough staff to cover a normal Saturday evening.

What is contributing to these shortages, and how can the demand for doctors and nurses be seen as an opportunity?

What’s Going On?

While it’s tempting to lay the healthcare shortage at Covid’s feet— you couldn’t ask for a better villain when explaining a problem— the truth is a little more complicated than that. Healthcare shortages have been forecasted for more than a decade.

Analysts have been sounding the alarm as more and more nurses retire or leave the profession for different work, while not enough new nurses come up through the ranks to replace them.

Healthcare was already in a vulnerable state when the pandemic came along to shape things up. Today, we are still dealing with the ramifications of those combined factors.

To make matters worse, there still hasn’t been a solution to healthcare’s primary problem: high turnover.

Nursing jobs are very hard. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. Most nurses work twelve-hour shifts, even though studies indicate that the average person only has enough mental gas in the tank to produce four hours of sustained concentration per day.

That, of course, does not mean that a person is useless after they hit their peak. It does mean their efforts will be a matter of diminishing returns.

Eight hours is quite a bit of diminishing returns.

Even after years of healthcare shortages, the industry has not come up with a comprehensive response to the problem.

What could help correct healthcare shortages?

Quality of Life Considerations

About half of all nurses leave the profession within three years of starting. That’s a disastrous ratio that very directly reflects on the experience most healthcare professionals encounter on the job. What about working as a nurse drives so many people away?

  • The shifts are long.
  • The hours cover holidays, evenings, and weekends.
  • The work is brutal.

Most nurses work cripplingly long hours. They see hard things on the job, and they often become isolated from their friends and family based on the hours they keep. It’s hard to connect with your loved ones when you are exhausted all the time and going to bed when they wake up.

Some hospitals are trying to correct this by providing mental health resources and revamping their scheduling practices to make the job more sustainable.
These steps are still very much a work in progress, but they are making things a little bit easier for nurses all over the country.

How This Benefits You

If you are considering getting a job as a nurse, now is a good time to do it. It’s true that the work is not easy. It’s also true that many of the issues described in the earlier paragraphs are far from resolved. Many hospitals have not made any significant headway on improving quality of life-considerations for their nursing staff.

Even those who have can’t do anything about the emotionally challenging aspects of the work. Nursing is a hard job and it is always going to take a special type of person to do it. If you can dedicate yourself to helping others, if you can accept the fact that you’ll constantly witness human tragedy at work only to be sent home to live an ordinary life (it’s hard to sit down to dinner with your family after watching someone die, but nurses do it every day) nursing might be the right job for you.

Here are a few reasons why now is a particularly good time.

  • It’s a seller’s market: Many hospitals are offering signing bonuses and other incentives to attract new nurses. While it’s not a job known for its perks, now is a good time to apply a little bit of leverage to the hiring process.
  • You won’t have any trouble finding work: There have been times when nurses have had a hard time finding jobs. It’s not that we have had a major nursing surplus in recent years. Rather, it’s always been a logistic problem. Regardless of the overall state of employment, every town only needs a set number of nurses. When they hit that number it could be years before the local hospital system needs to make a new hire. While that is still a problem in some parts of the country, the dynamic has shifted hard in the other direction. Now, most hospitals need help and a nurse seeking employment today should have no trouble getting their desired placement.
  • The culture is changing: Slowly but surely, the healthcare worker culture is shifting in a more sustainable direction. Some hospitals are implementing flex scheduling and other quality-of-life considerations that are helping nurses avoid burnout and stay on the job for longer.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse but don’t know what steps to take, there are plenty of resources available to help.

Choosing the Right Nursing School

Here is a quick cheat sheet that should help you find a good nursing school program for your needs.

  • Consider online classes: While nursing has a very obvious and inextricable hands-on component, you can complete much of your educational requirements from home. Remote learning provides a flexible learning environment— particularly for people who are already working or raising a family.
  • Consider accelerated curriculums: If you don’t want to wait four years to start working as a nurse, you can get your qualifications completed much quicker with an accelerated program. While they do require a lot of work, they allow you to meet your requirements within 18 months.
  • Understand your options: If you already have a degree you can skip your gen-ed requirements and get certified as a nurse much quicker. It’s another great way to accelerate your career.

Ready to get started? Begin looking into nursing programs today so that you can make a meaningful and much-needed contribution toward the future of healthcare.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Managing Healthcare Shift Work Challenges: Strategies for Well-being and Professional Growth

Shift work is a crucial part of many healthcare jobs, especially in hospitals, emergency services, and various clinics. It can offer you the flexibility you need, along with a higher pay rate due to night shift differentials. However, it can also have a significant impact on your mental health, lifestyle, and overall well-being. To make an informed decision about whether a particular shift pattern is right for you, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons carefully. So, don’t rush into it blindly – take the time to weigh up the options, learn how to manage the challenges of shift work, and make the best choice for your health and happiness.

Understanding the Effects of Shift Work

Sleep & Circadian Rhythms

Working irregular shifts, especially those that involve night shifts, can play havoc with your body’s natural circadian rhythms. This can lead to sleep disorders that can have a profound effect on your mood, cognitive abilities, and overall health. Research has shown that disrupted sleep patterns can cause a lot of damage to your body, both physically and mentally. So, it’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy sleep routine to ensure your body gets the rest it deserves.

Mental Health

Shift workers, especially those who work at night, might be at a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Studies highlighted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have revealed that the irregular hours and isolation that often come with non-traditional work schedules can make these feelings even worse. It’s important to take care of your mental health, regardless of what type of work you do.

Lifestyle and Social Impact

Working non-standard hours can negatively impact your personal life and relationships with family and friends. You may find it difficult to coordinate your free time with those who work or study during regular business hours, which could cause you to feel lonely or left out of important events and milestones.

Physical Health

Irregular working hours and the need for quick, less healthy meal options can have a negative impact on physical health. The World Health Organization has identified shift work that disrupts circadian rhythms as a potential cause of cancer. Furthermore, the lack of regular physical activity due to fatigue or time constraints can contribute to long-term health issues.

It’s Not All Bad: Benefits of Shift Work

Don’t worry, we’re not going to just up and leave you with that list of not-so-fantastic side effects of working irregular hours. Believe it or not, there are unique benefits as well, both professionally and personally.

Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

For those who willingly enter into shift work (or even those dragged in by their shirt collars), flexibility is the most cited benefit. If you can find ways to navigate irregular sleep patterns, night shifts can accommodate various personal commitments: family responsibilities, continuing education, or even hobbies that require daylight. Work-life balance means something different to everyone, and for some, this is the way to find it.

Higher Compensation

As mentioned above, night and weekend shifts often come with higher pay rates that can make a notable difference in your overall earnings. These financial incentives can be a significant motivator not offered by traditional day shift work.

Professional Development Opportunities

As most night shift workers will tell you, it’s a whole different animal from the day shift in more ways than you can imagine. Working different shifts can expose you to a wider range of experiences and challenges that bring professional growth. With fewer resources and staff available, night and weekend shifts often bring more opportunities for hands-on learning and autonomy, fast-tracking the development of critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Quieter Work Environment

While the eventful times may require more of you, many shift workers appreciate that there are many more opportunities for quiet lulls at night and on the weekend. Fewer visitors and administrative activities provide a less hectic atmosphere and more time to focus on patient care. This can lead to a more fulfilling work experience and stronger patient-provider connections.

Community and Team Bonding

There’s a unique camaraderie that develops among shift workers, born out of shared experiences and the challenges of working non-traditional hours. These deep, supportive relationships can enhance job satisfaction and emotional well-being.

Improved Patient Care

We all know healthcare never sleeps, which is why shift work is so crucial in ensuring that healthcare facilities are always well-staffed with the best professionals. This means that patients can receive the care they need no matter what time it is, and healthcare providers can take pride in knowing that their work is making a positive difference in the lives of their patients.
Top of Form

Strategies for Overcoming Shift Work Challenges

If shift work is part of your life, whether by choice or necessity, you need to find ways to make the best of it and overcome some of the negatives we discussed above. Luckily, all hope is not lost. Here are some tips to overcome the challenges.

Health and Wellness

Prioritize good sleep hygiene practices, such as creating dark and quiet sleeping environments and avoiding caffeine before bedtime. Consider using mindfulness or relaxation techniques to manage stress and protect your mental health.

Nutrition and Exercise

When you’re not able to eat with others, it can be tough to prioritize healthy eating. Planning and prepping healthy meals ahead of time can help you avoid the temptation of fast food. And don’t forget to sneak in some physical activity too, even if it’s just a quick, brisk walk during a work break. Your body will thank you!

Social Connectivity

Maintaining social connections is crucial for our mental and emotional well-being. Make an effort to connect with friends and family regularly. Plan activities during your days off and communicate openly about your schedule and its challenges. By being honest and transparent with your loved ones, you can work together to find a mutually convenient time to get together.

Professional Support

Don’t hesitate to seek support from your employer. Some healthcare facilities offer resources for shift workers, including counseling services, wellness programs, and flexible scheduling options to accommodate personal needs.

Making Informed Choices

When considering a job that involves working in shifts, it is important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages in the context of your personal health, lifestyle preferences, and career goals. While some healthcare professionals may enjoy the flexibility and change of pace that comes with shift work, others may find it difficult to adjust to this kind of schedule.

Before accepting a position, it is important to ask about the possibility of rotating shifts versus fixed shift patterns, chances for schedule changes over time, and the support systems in place for shift workers. Remember that your well-being is crucial in helping you provide the best possible care to your patients and achieve a fulfilling career in healthcare.

 

Interested in learning more about shift work and self-care in healthcare? Check out these blogs:

Tips for Surviving the Night Shift

Day Shift vs. Night Shift: A Consistent Nursing Dilemma

5 Self-Care Tips for Healthcare Professionals

 

Medical Marketing and Digital Obstacles Faced By Physicians

The mission of medicine is, of course, to help and to heal. But the practice of medicine is also an entrepreneurial endeavor. Clinics are also businesses, and to continue fulfilling the medical mission of caring for patients and families, they must be profitable.

That means healthcare systems and medical facilities are just like any other business insofar as they need effective marketing to help them grow and thrive. However, when it comes to marketing, healthcare practices face unique challenges.

Building Trust

Given the very real life-or-death consequences that apply in the healthcare industry, healthcare marketing must always be undertaken with a degree of gravity. Healthcare consumers may distrust clinicians who appear frivolous or cavalier in promoting their practices.

Thus, the onus is on healthcare marketers to overcome any initial reluctance the target audience may feel about healthcare marketing. Consumers may, at first, resist the idea of a healthcare provider advertising on social media, through email, or on television and radio.

However, if your content is strong and your tone earnest and professional, you will likely be able to leave a positive impression on your audience. This is especially true if you use your content strategically to provide valuable information that health consumers want and need.

For instance, you may use your website, blog, and social media accounts not only to provide information on your medical services but also to educate your audience on health topics or offer free advice. In this way, you build your reputation as a trusted authority and go-to resource for information relating to disease prevention and management, mental health, wellness, and related concerns.

Best of all, as you develop content that boosts your practice’s reputation, you’re going to be improving your search engine optimization (SEO) at the same time. The more credible your content and brand, the greater the likelihood that you will satisfy Google’s rigorous E-E-A-T algorithm and, thus, land a prime spot on a search engine results page.

Tailoring Content to Audience Needs

Another significant challenge in healthcare marketing is the burden of tailoring content to the needs of the target audience. In many cases, healthcare systems and clinics serve a vast patient demographic, treating patients of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic groups.

That means that market segmentation can be tough, especially if you’re a small practice with a limited marketing budget and a small marketing team. The good news, though, is that with a little creativity in your content development, you can reach people without either spending a king’s ransom or resorting to a scattershot approach that doesn’t really target any audience.

The wide variety and immense reach of today’s digital platforms means that you can affordably access a broad audience, using the media that will best suit the desired market segment. The key is to leverage every tool you can from the digital marketer’s toolbox, including email marketing, long-form blogs, videos, and podcasts.

As you do so, you must understand exactly who you are targeting through each channel. For example, millennials and Generation Z are more likely to engage with and respond to social media and video content than their older counterparts may be.

On the other hand, Generation X and baby boomers may prefer long-form content, direct emails, and podcasts, as well as traditional media channels, such as television and radio ads.

This can certainly get confusing, especially as you’re organizing publication dates and other important milestones in the meantime. To make the process more efficient, use different methods like process visualization. This provides visuals to the content publication calendar and breaks down each step. With it, you can focus on making your content more substantial rather than worrying about the minor anxieties that come with the process.

As you identify the media that will best reach each target segment, you will then want to align the content, from subject matter to presentation style, to the expectations of that segment.

Leveraging Online Reviews (Even Bad Ones)

One of the most important things you can do as a medical marketer is to cultivate a sense of community between clinicians, patients, families, and prospective patients. Building thriving online discussion forums, including soliciting patient reviews, is an ideal way to do this.

Inviting these reviews, though, means that there will inevitably be the occasional negative review. And while negative reviews can certainly be upsetting, they do not have to damage your clinic’s reputation.

Indeed, you can transform negative reviews into positive factors for your practice. This is because negative reviews often provide an invaluable opportunity to learn and improve in your practice. The information you glean from your patient’s complaints can be used to resolve service issues in the front office and deficiencies in care within your clinical team.

These practical improvements may then be integrated into your digital marketing. How you respond to negative reviews can be a powerful tool for not only mitigating the potential damage of a patient complaint but also for turning the complaint into a benefit. When audiences see that you react to negative reviews with respect, concern, and a sincere effort to resolve the issue, they’re likely to end up trusting and engaging with you even more.

Evaluate Your Marketing Efforts Afterward

The key downfall of many medical practices when initiating a new marketing strategy is setting it and forgetting it. If you’re not actively keeping tabs open on your marketing efforts and how they’re being received by potential patients, all your work up to this point would be wasted. The true question is: how will you continually evaluate your progress?

You can do this in a variety of ways. For one, qualitative methods should be relatively easy as a practitioner — you can give patients a survey when they first visit to ask how they found you initially. Even sparking conversations wouldn’t hurt with the right patient.

However, quantitative methods may give you a better overall picture of your progress. You’ll need to look for the right key performance indicators (KPIs), though. KPIs like revenue growth and customer acquisition are not only great indicators for your practice’s overall health, but they can also help you decide if your marketing efforts are doing any good or not.

Once you do your research, you can analyze the results and decide how you would like to regroup from there.

The Takeaway

Although there are always things you can do to improve your medical marketing, know that few practitioners get it right the first time. There is a reason you went to medical school rather than obtaining a degree in communications or marketing, after all.

However, understanding the various obstacles that arise and knowing how to overcome them can help physicians and marketers alike achieve exceptional growth. Effective medical marketing, indeed, is essential to cultivating a strong brand and building thriving relationships with patients, families, and healthcare consumers.

 


 Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Shaping the Future: How to Embark on a Career as a Nursing Educator

Nurses play an important role in society, there is no question about that. They are the backbone of the medical industry, making up a significant number of the workforce responsible for the care and attention to patients. For those that have chosen such a career there are plenty of avenues by which to expand upon that knowledge and experience. One of those is becoming a Nursing Educator.

There has been much discussion over the last decade or so about the quickly expanding need for more nurse practitioners in clinical settings and healthcare professionals. There is already a notable shortage of nurses compared to the projections needed to adequately care for the quickly aging Baby Boomer generation.

While those numbers are near common knowledge among colleges and medical institutions, there seems to be less vocality around the need for nursing educators, which is ironic considering that you can’t have more nurses without an adequate number or people to train them. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) states that there is a current rate of 8.8% openings, vacancies for nursing educators and these numbers are expected to keep on climbing due to impending retirement rates. Disconcertingly, nearly one third of all currently employed nursing educators in bachelor programs are projected to retire by the year 2025.

So, if education and nursing are mutual interests, it may be a sound choice for the future. Here is how to begin a career path to becoming a nursing educator. But first, let’s consider what a nursing educator is and does.

What is a Nursing Educator?

Nurse Educators, also known as nurse instructors, are registered nurses (RN’s) who have gone on in the education and experience levels to support the training and education of those persons who would like to become nurses themselves. As with any teaching curriculum, nurse educators will be required to teach, guide, report, and sometimes create their own lesson plans in a variety of environments.

Nurse educators are, along with other educators in the program, responsible for the development and guidance of students. The preparation of those students equips them to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam— the test that all prospective nursing students need to take before they are certified to work in professional environments.

Nurse educators work in conjunction with other faculty members at primary and secondary institutions such as medical research hospitals, health-care facilities, and sometimes private research companies so as to stay up to date on what emerging nurses may need to know to be well equipped for their professional roles.

Additionally, nurse educators can double their time in clinical settings acting as supervisors for nursing students or RNs in training. Nurse educators are not only teachers but can stand as mentors for students as well.

How to Become Nursing Educator

Before pursuing this career course, it is important to consider the necessary steps needed to become a nursing educator. Nurse educators, depending on who is doing the hiring, will have different requirements. The minimum is a valid RN license and two years of experience as an RN. Many educators will work about three to five years before making the transition into a teaching position.

While most nursing educator positions will require a Master of Science in nursing in addition to a few years’ experience, there are some places that are willing to overlook a master’s degree in exchange for many years of experience, great references, and evidence of competency in supervision and training of others.

So, typically speaking, the correct order of completion to become a nurse educator is to complete an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, passing the NCLEX, serving as a nurse for a few years, and then feeling out whether education in this field is still desirable. From there, interested parties should enroll in a nurse educator program such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

For those of different ambitions, going on to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Doctorate of Education (Ed. D) should be considered. While not required for teaching at an undergraduate level, it is generally sought after for those who would teach at the graduate level as a tenured professor or school administrator.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.