Are You Ready for a Career in Healthcare Administration?

Working in the healthcare industry doesn’t always mean dealing with medicine or helping patients overcome their ailments and injuries. If you’re already in the industry, have a knack for organization, and think you’re ready to take on more responsibilities, a career in healthcare administration could be right for you.

While experience in healthcare is helpful, it’s not necessary to get started in an administrative career. Healthcare administrators are so important to the industry, which is why the job growth for this particular career is moving much faster than average. You might not be working in an operating room, but every day you’ll help patients with the non-clinical functions involved in operating a medical facility. That includes scheduling, billing, efficiency, and much more.

If you’ve been thinking about a career in healthcare administration but you’re still on the fence, let this article serve as your guide. We’ll cover some of the basics, so you can determine whether this career is a good fit for your needs and wants.

What Can You Expect From a Career in Healthcare Administration?

Healthcare administrators work behind the scenes. Essentially, you’ll end up wearing many hats, and potentially not getting a lot of the “credit,” but that’s not the point for administrators who enjoy their work. Unlike many other jobs in the medical field, most healthcare administrators work about 40 hours a week, typically during the day. If you decide to work for a hospital or 24-hour clinic, however, that might require different shifts.

Your duties might change on a daily basis, which is why so many people enjoy the work — it never gets old or boring. Some of the typical tasks you’ll have to regularly take care of include:

      • Developing daily work schedules
      • Training new staff members
      • Managing billing
      • Managing facility finances
      • Improving efficiency

Healthcare administrators also need to regularly communicate with physicians and nurses. They often serve as a “go-between” for patients and professionals, so those treating the patients can have as much information as possible before they start a treatment plan.

What Are the Skills Needed?

There are a few requirements in place for becoming a healthcare administrator, as well as a few important skills that will make the job easier for you.

The educational requirements to become a healthcare administrator can vary slightly from state to state. In most cases, however, a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration is needed. Many states also require at least a few years of experience with physician practice management. Some facilities might even require you to have a master’s degree. The required experience is a big reason why many people choose to go into administration after they’ve already been in the healthcare field for a while.

In addition to meeting the educational requirements, there are a few skills that are necessary to succeed as an administrator.

First, you should consider the position to be a management role. Not only will you have to take charge and train new employees, but you have the opportunity to inspire them and build positive relationships that can make a big difference in the environment and culture of your workplace. Leadership skills like resilience, self-awareness, and effective communication are some of the top skills that managers should cultivate.

Along the same lines, it’s essential to have strong organizational skills. Not only will you be “in charge” of training certain individuals, but you have to keep track of patient information, supplies, billing information, and much more. Using an organizational chart can help to give you a visual layout of different departments and how to connect with employees in each of those departments, but it’s useful to have other tools and systems in place to keep yourself organized within every task.

Managing Your Well-Being

Between all of the duties you’ll have to take care of and the long list of skills needed to succeed, there’s no denying that a healthcare administration career can be somewhat stressful. While it’s equally rewarding, it’s important to make sure you know how to prioritize your well-being in a high-stress job. That includes striking a healthy work-life balance and practicing self-care in and out of the office. Some of the best ways to manage stress include:

      • Exercising
      • Prioritizing sleep
      • Journaling
      • Practicing mindfulness and meditation
      • Whether you already work in the healthcare industry and want to try something different or you have a passion for helping people but don’t want to take on the role of becoming a doctor or nurse, a career in healthcare administration could be for you.

Keep these things in mind as you decide on the next steps in your career. You might be working behind the scenes, and some days will feel more stressful than others. However, you can take comfort in knowing you’re taking care of the needs of patients, physicians, and the rest of your staff each day. That’s often its own reward.


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.

Why Physician Assistant Re-Branding Is Still on Hold

The physician assistant who works in your doctor’s group practice may be referring to herself as a physician associate by this time next year. Then again, she may never change her title. Despite the American Academy of Physician Assistants (now Associates) changing its name and pushing for an industry wide re-brand, they are recommending that PAs do not make the official switch just yet.

Re-branding physician assistants (PAs) as physician associates is ostensibly to change the perception that all PAs do is assist doctors. Proponents of the change say the current title does not accurately describe physician assistant jobs. They say the new title is more descriptive.

Authority Is at the State Level

Getting back to the American Academy of Physician Associates, they made the official change in 2021, but only after looking at the profession’s image during a three-year study period. Their research uncovered broad support for the name change. Apparently, some 71% of surveyed patients and 61% of physicians agreed that replacing ‘assistant’ with ‘associate’ better reflected the realities of physician assistant jobs.

So why is the Academy still recommending that PAs stick with the old title? Because ultimately the Association doesn’t get to make that choice. State regulating authorities are the ones who designate job titles and their respective scopes and practices. A PA arbitrarily choosing to change their title could end up facing legal issues.

It is believed that state regulating authorities will eventually get around to implementing the name change. But as with anything involving government, it will be slow going between now and then. Physician assistants are being encouraged to continue using the traditional title until their states officially recognized the new one.

Way Beyond Assisting

Whether or not the word ‘associate’ is a more accurate description of what PAs do. Obviously, clinicians do a lot more than simply assist doctors. They are recognized members of healthcare teams with defined responsibilities and welcome contributions. In addition, PAs are not restricted to primary care. There are all sorts of specialties including emergency medicine, surgery, and even pediatrics.

PAs undergo an education and training regimen very similar to what an internist (physician) undergoes. The PA essentially learns the exact same things. The only real difference between a PA and physician is the number of clinical hours each one has put in. Physicians have a lot more clinical hours under their belts.

In most states, PAs are licensed to provide all sorts of primary care. They can see patients and diagnose illnesses. They can develop treatment plans, offer prognoses, order lab tests, and write prescriptions. The biggest restriction in most states is the requirement to be supervised by a physician. That’s why most PAs work in group practices or at hospitals.

 Recognizing a Distinct Profession

Physician assistant jobs will not fundamentally change should state regulators begin adopting the new job title. However, adopting the new title amounts to recognition of the PA job as a separate and distinct profession. It draws a line of distinction between physicians and associates, like the distinction between registered nurses and nurse practitioners.

The largest professional group to represent PAs has officially changed its name and recommended that the entire specialty be re-branded. For now, though, any such re-branding is on hold. Those who support it urge PAs to wait until their states legally change the name themselves. Will that ever happen? Probably. How long it takes is something no one can really predict. With any luck, the PA at your doctor’s office will be using the new title within a year or two.


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.

6 Tips for Launching a Medical Startup

The competition in the medical industry is fierce. Complex health care relationships, stringent legal regulations, and high-security standards can hamper new product launches. Here are six tips for kicking off a medical startup.

1. Elevate Your Skill Set

Don’t expect to become an overnight success in the healthcare industry. Your products or services must be of the highest quality and in high demand to succeed in the medical industry. Enrolling in a professional development program to learn marketable abilities may be worthwhile.

Assuming you want to start a medical coding company, you may benefit from an online professional development coursein the industry. It can prepare you to mark medical procedures and service claims with the correct codes. You’ll also be able to show off your knowledge on a final test.

2. Understand the Conservative Market

In terms of funding and growth, medical technology is one of the most promising fields. In 2020, health care costs in the United States reached $4.1 trillion, or $12,530 per person, an increase of about 10% from 2019. Research by the 2020 Commonwealth Fund estimates that health care consumes 16.9% of national income. Thus, it has the highest health care costs and the highest patient demand in the world.

3. Choose Your Business Structure

In the United States, it’s mandatory for any business, including those in the healthcare industry, to form a separate legal organization. You’ll have to select a business structure before registering your company.

A limited liability company (LLC) offers the most benefits for startups. It shields you from responsibility for the company’s debts and lawsuits, keeping your wealth safe. In addition, the LLC is subject to pass-through taxation. This means that its members, not the business, are responsible for reporting the business’s tax obligations on their tax returns. If you’re wondering how to start an LLC, research your state’s LLC requirements, then save money on attorney’s fees by completing the forms yourself or hiring a formation service to assist you.

4. Comply With HIPAA

Any medical startup with a health care website offering user profiles, archives with patient records, or online invoicing tools must adhere strictly to HIPAA regulations and secure patient health data. HIPPA protects the confidentiality of medical records. The standard guidelines specify parameters for the safe and private sharing of electronic medical records. Penalties for HIPAA violations can reach $1.5 million annually, with each event carrying a maximum fine of $50,000.

5. Build Trust for Your Medical Business

There’s a lack of trust between fledgling businesses and established companies in the healthcare industry. So, if you want to succeed in the healthcare industry, you’ll need to network with extensive hospital systems, health insurance providers, and medical device manufacturers. Having a solid business plan with a detailed road map demonstrates your business has ambitions to grow and won’t just perish after receiving seed funding.

6. Hire Employees

As you begin to build your business, one of your top priorities will be hiring the right employees to help you achieve your goals. When choosing candidates for open positions at your company, it’s important to select staff members who have the skills and qualifications needed to excel in their roles. Beyond that, you should also look for individuals who have a strong work ethic, an ability to collaborate well with others, and an interest in helping your medical startup succeed. When you’re ready to hire employees, advertise your healthcare jobs at HeathJobsNationwide.com!

Take the First Step

Starting a medical business from scratch is no small feat. Take crucial steps like choosing the best business structure, researching the market, complying with HIPAA, and hiring capable employees.

By : Stephanie Haywood of MyLifeBoost.com


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 Healthcare Professionals Need to Take Health Advocacy More Seriously

The United States healthcare system is extremely complex. Even people who work in the field might not fully understand all the systems involved with delivering and paying for healthcare. This is a major problem since the average patient might not know how to ensure that they’re getting the care they need or how to make sure their medical bills are paid.

All healthcare providers are busy, but if you’re working in the field of medicine, it’s important to understand what kinds of obstacles patients face and how to address them with health advocacy. Many people simply don’t have the health literacy to navigate the system, which leads to poorer outcomes, lack of access, and other consequences.

People getting substandard care because they don’t know how to submit bills properly or due to a language barrier, for instance, is unacceptable. Healthcare professionals need to fully understand the role of health advocates and take them seriously.

What is Health Advocacy?

Health advocacy is all about helping patients get the healthcare services they need. A health advocate helps people get through any aspect of the healthcare delivery process they have trouble with. Advocates must understand the individual patient’s needs and work to remove obstacles that could affect their health outcomes.

An advocate might perform many tasks on behalf of the patient, which might include:

      •         Taking notes during an appointment
      •         Asking questions on the patient’s behalf.
      •         Calling the patient’s insurance company
      •         Helping patients understand their health conditions and treatment options
      •         Completing difficult administrative tasks
      •         Reminding patients to take their medications and follow their doctors’  instructions.

Who Can Be a Health Advocate?

Essentially, anyone a patient trusts can be their health advocate. Personal advocates are often family members or close friends. A caregiver can also act as a health advocate. As long as a person is trustworthy, has basic health literacy skills, and is able to easily understand written and verbal communications, they should be able to take on the role of a health advocate.

There are also professional health advocates who might be hired by a healthcare organization or individual. Professional advocates do not need special training or licensing, but they usually have a background in the field of healthcare. Because there is no regulation on the healthcare advocacy field, it’s important for patients to choose a professional advocate with appropriate experience and references.

The Benefits of Health Advocacy

The benefits of health advocacy for patients are clear: with an advocate, patients can communicate more effectively with their providers, ensure that they are getting the care they need, and take care of administrative tasks that might be difficult or impossible for them to complete on their own.

There are benefits for healthcare providers, as well as patients. Working with an advocate as a liaison can help reduce misunderstandings. It can also help ensure that patients follow their provider’s directions in managing their health.

Advocates save time on both the patient’s side and the provider’s side. Doctors will need to spend less time explaining health information, allowing them to stay on schedule. Patients will have to wait less for their appointments, making the experience of going to the doctor less frustrating and more efficient.

Patients Who Might Need a Health Advocate

Older people often need the help of a health advocate. They might struggle to use the technology needed to make appointments, view test results, and submit paperwork. They might also struggle with mobility and other obstacles to getting proper care. As people get older, their health needs become increasingly complex and difficult to manage, so a health advocate can be a major asset.

People with complex health needs and those with conditions that affect cognition, communication, mobility, and other functions might also need a health advocate. People who do not speak the same language as their healthcare providers or have trouble navigating the healthcare system due to poor health literacy can benefit greatly from a health advocate.

Public Health Advocacy

Although individual advocates are extremely important for patient outcomes, public health advocacy is another critical activity for improving community health. Public health advocates primarily focus on healthcare access for underserved communities. Not only does this help create healthier communities, but it also helps increase trust in the healthcare system.

How Healthcare Professionals Can Help Boost Advocacy

Health advocacy is a win-win for healthcare professionals and their patients. But how can you, your colleagues, and organizational leaders help increase the role of advocacy within the industry? Here are some examples:

      • Advocate for your patients as much as you can, which might mean confronting family members or calling a social worker
      • Push for hiring professional advocates in your workplace
      • Support social workers
      • Be willing to work with patients’ personal advocates

Taking advocacy seriously isn’t difficult. All you have to do is recognize the challenges patients face and do what you can to help break down those barriers! And if more healthcare professionals start taking advocacy seriously, then we can look forward to a future with improved care and better 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.

What It Takes to Be a Crisis Nurse

Nothing is quite right beneath the granite sky. Here, the remnants of a family home splashed onto the curb with utter indifference. There, a business, shuttered before the storm but now only barely standing anyway. Sirens flash. The wind licks up moodily, an eerie remnant perhaps, of the storm that passed through and just as quickly moved on to another place. The world looks as though it’s been put in a blender and spit out again.

This is the office of a crisis nurse, whose job has them going into the situations everyone else is fleeing from. Like Batman. Their job is to provide medical attention to communities impacted by disasters.

In this article, we look at what it takes to become a crisis nurse, and what the job entails.

 Background

The first step to becoming a crisis nurse is to receive the proper nursing education. Most RN certification programs take four years to complete and are part of a standard undergraduate curriculum. You can also apply for accelerated programs, which take place over the course of 12-18 months.

Naturally, these programs are very fast-paced. Because of how demanding they are, it can be very difficult to take them on while working a job or raising a family.

Once the educational requirements are satisfied and the testing and background verification procedures are complete you are eligible to begin acquiring professional nursing experience.

 Gaining Experience

The usual background requirement for becoming a crisis nurse is two years. While you can satisfy this requirement with any type of nursing experience, it’s a good idea to look for positions that will prepare you for providing emergency care.

This accomplishes several things. As a crisis nurse, you may find yourself working almost exclusively in emergencies. By logging lots of time in these scenarios, you can get a good idea if this career path is really right for you, while also developing valuable skills that can be applied directly to the new job.

Emergency experience will also help your resume stand out. The number of these positions available may be overshadowed by the number of applicants, so it’s good to accumulate a resume that stands out.

 Be Adaptable

It’s not so much that there aren’t many crisis nursing jobs in circulation. More that the number of local positions can vary tremendously. It’s a good idea to go into the job hunting process with an open mind, and a willingness to relocate for the position.

 A Traveling Job

Unless you happen to live someplace that naturally comes into contact with enough disasters to keep a healthcare professional busy three hundred or so days out of the year (Gothom City, perhaps) you’ll need to travel for this job.

The idea, of course, is to go into whatever community is being impacted by a disaster that is larger than the local healthcare system can handle on its own. For example, during hurricane seasons, crisis nurses may be hired in the aftermath of the storm to provide additional assistance to the community. When their time there is done, they move on to the next town.

Crisis nurses were also vital in responding to high-need areas during the height of the pandemic.

 A Dangerous Job?

Crisis nurses are typically working in the relatively controlled environment of a hospital. The position is not intended to be dangerous. However, there is always an element of risk to the nursing profession. Any emergency room nurse will be all too happy to share with you stories of overly aggressive patients, or belligerent visitors.

Crisis nurses are not supposed to come into contact with danger, but the capacity for risk is certainly there. During the height of Covid-19, for example, nurses specifically responding to the pandemic experienced a much higher risk of infection than those who were working on non-covid floors.

 An Emotionally Difficult Task

It is worth noting that working as a crisis nurse can be an emotionally challenging job. Most nurses at least run the risk of encountering difficult situations at work, but for crisis nurses, emotional challenges are baked right into the job description.

Crisis nurses should go into the job with the understanding that they will often be interacting with communities in their most desperate moments.

 Self-Care

Crisis nurses need to know how to take care of themselves just as well as they take care of their patients. Stress, anxiety, and even depression are common burdens experienced by people working in the medical profession. The job is difficult. The things you experience are often emotionally challenging.

People who don’t prioritize their mental and emotional health experience a significant risk of burnout. Practice self-care and be willing to speak up and advocate for yourself at home and at work.

 The Perks

There are benefits to being a crisis nurse that sweetens the pot for those considering this line of work. For one thing, the job tends to stay fresh. Rather than returning to the same floor of the same hospital day after day, you will be traveling to new places, always responding to the unique circumstances of the disaster that brought you there.

For many crisis nurses, this alone is an exciting way to break up the monotony of working life.
There is also the pay. According to ZipRecruiter, crisis nurses can expect to make up to $100,000, significantly higher than the average nursing salary.

 Conclusion

Crisis nursing is a difficult profession, not for the faint of heart. The right candidate will be ready and willing to regularly encounter desperate medical situations while working in recently devastated communities.

They will need to be able to travel often and adapt to changing circumstances at the drop of a hat. Perhaps most important of all, they need to know how to take care of themselves.

The work is difficult. The situations are long, hard, and often emotionally devastating. For the right candidate, however, crisis nursing is a great way to make a living while applying their trade in a way that literally saves lives


.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.

Join the Nutrition Revolution: 4 Reasons for Getting an Advanced Degree in Nutrition

By Christina Meyer-Jax, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, RYT

As we understand more and more about the critical relationship between food choices and individual health, the field of nutrition continues to expand. If you’re a healthcare professional, this also makes it an exciting time to strengthen your credentials with an advanced degree in nutrition. 

Registered dietitians, registered nurses, chiropractors, medical doctors, and other healthcare practitioners can all benefit from an advanced degree in nutrition.  

I’ve been a professional in the field of nutrition for 25 years. I’m also the chair for the Master of Health Science in Functional and Integrative Nutrition program at Northwestern Health Sciences University. In the following, I’ll describe four reasons for attaining an advanced degree in nutrition. 

1. Create New Directions for Your Career 

Are you content in your current professional role? Are you looking for a possible change? 

Depending on your education, credentials, and profession, as well as the state in which you practice, gaining an advanced degree in nutrition could open up avenues like the following. 

Do any of these fit with your professional ambitions?

Healthcare. Possibilities include being a health coach or having a nutrition-based clinical practice within a concierge or boutique clinic, medical center, hospital, chiropractic office, long-term care facility, or other clinical care setting.

Wellness. Examples include health coaching in fitness centers or wellness retreats. There’s also the possibility of being a nutrition expert in the natural products or dietary supplements industries.

Public health, policy, and organizational leadership. Your nutrition credentials can create opportunities in research and development, community health and wellness education programs, and corporate employee wellness programs.

Food-related industry. There are numerous potential roles for people with nutrition expertise in the food and beverage industry, the restaurant industry, culinary institutes, and corporate food service establishments.

Higher education. With that advanced degree in nutrition, you could also pursue teaching positions in higher education as well as the expanding opportunities for doctoral-level studies in nutrition-related areas. 

2. Strengthen Your Current Practice to Be a More Effective Practitioner

For some healthcare practitioners, an advanced degree in nutrition can empower them to add nutrition-based care to their scope of practice. 

More people today are consciously seeking alternatives to prescription drugs and invasive medical procedures. 

Healthcare professionals with nutrition expertise can help people identify possible ways to address health problems — or prevent them — through diet. 

Plus, you could also gain a new segment of clients or patients with your added expertise.

3. Deepen Your Expertise with the Latest Evidence-Based Approaches to Nutrition

Are you already a practicing dietitian with an undergraduate in nutrition? With an advanced degree, you can add valuable knowledge to what you learned in college. More specifically, you can gain insights that improve your ability to implement personalized nutritional interventions and recommendations.  

This is especially true if the advanced degree you attain emphasizes functional nutrition. Functional nutrition represents a progressive, highly individualized approach to improving people’s health and wellness through diet. 

Practitioners of functional nutrition see food as medicine. They bring an evidence-based perspective to how specific dietary choices can alleviate current health issues, prevent others, and enhance overall health.

4. Stay More Competitive in the Job Market 

According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration, “Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement for eligibility to take the registration examination for dietitians will change from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree.”

If you’re currently a registered dietician, yes, you’ll be exempted from the new requirement. 

However, earning an advanced degree in nutrition can help strengthen your qualifications and make you a more attractive job candidate. This is an important factor as nutrition-related positions grow more competitive and employers state that a master’s degree is “preferred” or in some cases “required.” 

There’s also the fact that earning an advanced degree in nutrition can increase your earning potential and enable you to be more effective as a nutrition-based healthcare practitioner (see No. 3).

Take the next step and start exploring graduate programs in nutrition

If you’d like to make a positive change in your current role as a healthcare professional, you now can see how an advanced degree in nutrition could help.  

Do any of the reasons above resonate with you?  If so, then I suggest you take the next step and start exploring graduate programs in nutrition. 

____________________________________________________________________________

Christina Meyer-Jax, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, RYT, is a passionate believer that good food matters for everyone. She is the Program Chair for the Master of Health Science in Functional and Integrative Nutrition at Northwestern Health Sciences University.

 


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 Healthcare Professionals Can Deconstruct Mental Health Stigmas

Mental health concerns have become more normalized and accepted over the years, but stigmas surrounding mental illnesses remain a barrier to accessing quality care. Despite the process our society has made, many patients and providers are still uncomfortable discussing mental health struggles, which affects the outcomes of their treatment. Without a complete understanding of your patient’s overall wellness, it’s difficult to provide the best assistance and referrals possible.

Eliminating many of the challenges in healthcare starts with deconstructing mental health stigmas. In this article, we’ll discuss four ways that healthcare providers can express empathy and encourage more discussion surrounding mental health to provide better care.

Educate Providers About Mental Illnesses

Mental health concerns aren’t always caused by factors your patient can control. For example, your environment — which people of most income levels can’t easily control — can greatly influence your mental well-being. People who live in food deserts, which are communities with limited access to nutritious and affordable foods, are more likely to experience chronic illnesses that lead to a high risk for depression. Not knowing when or where you are going to get your next meal can also increase the likelihood of chronic anxiety.

As a healthcare professional, it’s important for you to understand common factors that can affect a patient’s mental health — including living environments and chemical imbalances in the brain — and encourage your peers to learn more, too. While your practice may focus on physical health, you can consider taking supplementary education courses that boost your understanding of mental illnesses, how it affects the body, and how they can occur or worsen.

Encourage Patients to Open Up About Their Mental Health

Because of the stigmas associated with mental health, patients often don’t bring up their mental health struggles to healthcare professionals from the start. For example, deteriorating teeth may appear to be the result of laziness, when the root cause of their poor maintenance may be depression. Great healthcare providers identify potential signs of mental illness and encourage patients to open up about their struggles.

Getting patients to discuss their mental health requires plenty of trust. Put your empathy on display — perhaps by explaining how you understand the difficulties of self-care when facing struggles in life — and show that your office is a place where your patients won’t be judged. You can even offer examples of how you’ve helped patients work through their physical illnesses by understanding their mental health in the past (keeping their identities anonymous, of course).

Support Self-Compassion

When patients are going through something difficult, self-compassion can go a long way in improving mental and physical health. Studies have shown that higher levels of self-compassion correspond to less depression, anxiety, and shame in those with chronic illnesses. Plus, it can lead to measurable improvements in their blood sugar levels and other indicators of physical health.

As your patients start to open up to you about their mental health, it’s important to practice active listening and offer assistance when needed. Provide examples of how they can practice self-compassion — for instance, by letting oneself rest instead of work when experiencing pain. You can also offer tips for building a lifestyle that supports physical and mental health, like developing an exercise routine and increasing Vitamin B and C intake. Make sure you show encouragement, rather than judgment, if your patient initially fails to improve their lifestyle.

Of course, healthcare providers aren’t always qualified to deal with serious cases of mental illness. Don’t be afraid to offer referrals to mental health specialists for patients who can greatly benefit from the support of psychotherapy and other professional treatments.

Recognize How Mental Health Affects Providers

Patients aren’t the only people who face mental health struggles in their lives. More physicians die by suicide than people in any other profession. When healthcare teams begin to show symptoms of depression, burnout, and other mental health concerns, it can lead to greater nursing shortages and a lack of empathy in care. Naturally, deconstructing mental health stigmas for patients starts with caring for the healthcare professionals on your team.

While healthcare professionals may feel the need to emotionally remove themselves from their careers — in which many regularly hear difficult stories or even witness death — it’s important to create a culture of care on your team. Be there for your peers and employees, and encourage them to express their needs to keep their mental health in tip-top shape.

Combat the Stigmas Facing Mental Health

Mental illness isn’t something to be ashamed of. The more healthcare providers build their understanding of mental health and the factors involved in it, the better they can encourage their patients to discuss the big picture of their well-being. Put your empathy on display and encourage self-compassion and positive lifestyle changes in patients to provide more well-rounded and high-quality care — and don’t forget to check in on your colleagues along the way.


Image Source: Unsplash

      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 to Run a Family Pharmacy

Opening a pharmacy is a complex and challenging process, but it can be extremely rewarding. Not only will you be able to serve your community and help people in need, but you’ll also be able to build a business that can be passed down from generation to generation. Here are some of the key considerations for opening and running a family pharmacy.

Location is Key

When choosing a location for your pharmacy, you’ll want to consider the demographics of the surrounding area. Are there a lot of families? What is the median income? What is the healthcare infrastructure like? These are all important factors to consider, as they will impact your business in a variety of ways.

The Right Licenses and Permits

Before you can open your doors, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the necessary licenses and permits in place. Depending on your state, this process can be fairly complex. You might want to consider working with an experienced attorney to ensure that everything is in order. Before you start investing, you need to make sure you understand all that is involved in this process.   

Good Suppliers
In order to run a successful pharmacy, you’ll need to find reliable suppliers for all of your pharmaceutical needs. This can be a challenge, as there are many variables to consider (cost, quality, delivery time, etc.). However, it’s essential that you take the time to find suppliers who can meet your needs and who you can build a long-term relationship with. You can find suppliers online, like RxRise, which can provide details on their inventory.

A Strong Marketing Plan

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful family pharmacy. You’ll need to find creative ways to reach your target audience and let them know about your business. Traditional marketing methods (such as print ads and direct mail) can be effective, but don’t forget about digital marketing tactics as well (such as social media marketing and email marketing). Consider offering discounts and sales to draw new customers to your pharmacy. 

Opening and running a family pharmacy can be a complex and challenging process, but it can also be extremely rewarding. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can set yourself up for success! Make sure to have a good location, proper permits, trustworthy suppliers, and a strong marketing plan. With these in place, you can’t go wrong! 


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @LizzieWeakley; https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.weakley


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.

The Intricacies of Kickstarting Your Independent Nursing Practice

Establishing your own business — particularly in the field of medicine is at once an exciting and fear-inducing proposition. You want to serve the community with your knowledge and expertise. But you’re also nervous.

Without a hospital, all the cost, all the risk, and all of the uncertainty fall solely on your shoulders. In this article, we take a look at all of the intricacies of kickstarting your independent nursing practice.

Policy Restrictions

While nurse practitioners receive much of the same training that family medicine doctors do, they are held back legislatively in many parts of the country. Though not the case everywhere, some states prohibit nurse practitioners from issuing prescriptions and diagnoses without the supervision of a licensed doctor. 

Naturally, this can make it very difficult to run an independent practice. Before you get too far into your entrepreneurial journey, survey the local laws. If they favor you, great. If not, you may consider finding a state that is more nurse practitioner friendly. 

Legal Accountability

Before you kickstart a medical practice, it’s important to keep in mind that doing so will open you up to a degree of legal accountability. The United States has staggeringly high levels of civil action relating to medical treatment. 

If a patient decides that your behavior resulted in a negative healthcare outcome, you could be held financially responsible. You may subvert this risk with specialized business insurance. However, even in the best of circumstances lawsuits are a stressful and unpleasant experience. 

When something goes poorly in the hospital setting it is usually the hospital that will assume the financial and reputational repercussions. When you’re out on your own, there is no such support.

Of course, this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for the ambitious nurse practitioner. It is, however, something to be aware of. 

Securing Infrastructure

To launch a successful practice you will need a building out of which to operate. Your office building will require patient rooms, a reception area, a waiting room, and enough space for basic medical equipment. Locating all of these infrastructural requirements can be a bit of a challenge. The easiest option may be to take over the practice of a retiring doctor or nurse practitioner. 

Not only will this give you all the infrastructure you require, but it may also set you up with a reliable roster of patients. Short of this, you will just need to bide your time and be willing to take on a building that could require extensive renovation. 

Consider the Cost

The cost of starting a medical practice is estimated to fall between $70 — 100,000. This figure accounts for the cost of procuring a building, the necessary supplies, and any licensing fees you might incur. Your startup costs will also need to cover at least a small staff — someone to answer the phones, schedule appointments, take care of billing, etc. 

Much of this cost can be covered by a small business loan. However, you will probably need at least some startup cash to get the ball rolling. 

The psychology of Entrepreneurship

Since we just discussed all of the hardships that come with starting your own business, it should be no surprise that there is a strong association between entrepreneurship and anxiety. Some of this anxiety is reasonable and even productive. A significant amount of time, effort, and money are on the line. By appreciating the gravity of the situation, you increase your chances of making decisions that will lead to success down the road. 

Some of the anxiety isn’t so reasonable. Imposter syndrome is a condition common to entrepreneurship, but particularly prevalent in people working within the field of medicine. 

People experiencing imposter syndrome are essentially plagued with the feeling that they aren’t qualified to do their job. Everyone around them belongs where they are, while the sufferer themselves has arrived there by accident. 

No amount of training or education is enough to completely lift someone out of imposter syndrome. The condition is usually relieved by mindfulness activities. Review:

  • You are a vetted and certified professional. One cannot become a nurse practitioner without rigorous training and education. You have completed these qualifications. 
  • Business will come your way. You are a talented professional. People want to receive healthcare from talented professionals. 
  • The fear you experience is normal. Every new physician feels uncertain and underqualified. 

It’s also important to avoid making unjust comparisons. If you take an established nurse practitioner as your baseline for success, you will inevitably fall short. Try to make personal comparisons instead. You know more today than you did yesterday.

When in doubt, talk to people who are in a similar position. By speaking with other nurse practitioners, you will surely learn that they have had the same experiences of anxiety as you. 



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.

8 Reasons for Pursuing a Radiation Therapist Career


By Jessica Donahue, R.T. (R) (T) (ARRT)

Radiation therapists play a critical role in cancer treatment by administering radiation to specific areas of a patient’s body. But more than that, they can enjoy an incredibly rewarding career in healthcare.

I’ve been in the radiation therapy community for more than 20 years and have had the privilege of teaching hundreds of students to become radiation therapists. I’m also chair of the Radiation Therapy Degree Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University. In the following, I’d like to share insights on why you should consider this profession.

1. Become a highly valued healthcare professional within a shorter amount of time

If you’re concerned about the amount of education (and money) it can take to become a healthcare professional, radiation therapy could be an excellent career choice. 

In fact, BusinessInsider.com has radiation therapist on its list of the highest paying jobs not requiring a bachelor’s degree. (Also, U.S. News & World Report puts the profession on two of its Best Jobs lists.)

Depending on the education option you choose — and on your current education level — becoming a radiation therapist can take somewhere between one and four years. 

Here are four possible paths to becoming a radiation therapist:

  • If you’ve already graduated from an associate degree program in the related field of radiologic technology, you can complete a certificate program in radiation therapy in about a year.
  • If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, you may be able to complete a certificate program in radiation therapy in about a year.
  • There are also bachelor degree programs specifically in radiation therapy, which will typically take at least four years to finish.

(See How to Become a Radiation Therapist for more information.)

2. Join a healthcare profession with a promising future

The need for radiation therapists won’t be disappearing anytime soon. For example, cancer risk generally goes up with age. And as the current Baby Boomer generation ages, there will likely be an increased demand for radiation therapists. 

Along with an aging population, this increased demand can also be attributed to improved cancer detection methods and evolving treatments that require a radiation therapist’s expertise.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a positive growth rate (6%) for the radiation therapist profession over the next decade.

3. Enjoy a great work schedule 

The typical work schedule for radiation therapists is an attractive feature of the profession. You usually work in healthcare facilities that operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday. That also means you usually have weekends, evenings, and holidays off. 

This aspect of the profession makes it an especially good career choice for parents trying to accommodate the needs of their family.

Note that radiation therapists are often needed for full- and part-time positions as well as for traveling therapist positions.

4. Choose a professional path with lots of flexibility

Career flexibility is another appealing feature of this profession. Once you finish a radiation therapy program and take the steps to become registered as a radiation therapist, you’ve completed what the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) calls a “primary eligibility pathway.”

If you’d like, you can then expand your knowledge and credentials through the ARRT’s “postprimary pathways,” which allow you to gain additional certifications in medical imaging procedures like the following:

  • Bone densitometry
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Vascular sonography

And with more qualifications, you can become a more competitive job candidate, have more control over your career direction, and potentially earn more income. 

It’s also worth noting that a background in radiation therapy can also be a valuable foundation for pursuing options such as:

  • Medical device sales and training 
  • Healthcare management roles (which may require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree)
  • Other healthcare professions such as a physician assistant (which would require a professional degree)
  • Directly related professions such as a medical dosimetrist (which would require a professional degree)

6. Make a deeper connection with your patients

Depending on the treatment plan and the nature of the cancer, a patient typically receives radiation treatment five days a week for several weeks in a row. Because of this, radiation therapists are able to become much closer with patients compared to other healthcare professions, and even compared to other members of the cancer treatment team. 

The familiarity you can develop with patients involves more than just delivering treatment. You’re in a position to listen, show compassion, and offer emotional support. You’re often getting to know family members as well.

For many radiation therapists, the daily patient interaction is the single biggest reason why they love their work.

Then there’s the general rhythm of each day. You stay busy and focused with a steady stream of daily patients.

7. Be part of a multidisciplinary cancer treatment team

If you engage with individuals easily and enjoy the atmosphere of being part of a team, then you should definitely explore the field of radiation therapy. 

As a radiation therapist, you work with other team members, prepare patients for their treatments, practice safe protocols by working in pairs, and interact with additional department staff such as nurses, dosimetrists, nutritionists, and radiation oncologists.

Then, of course, there are the patients you have the privilege of helping every day.

8. Work with advanced technology in an environment that fits with your preferences

As a radiation therapist, you’ll be on the front lines of cancer treatment as you work daily with cutting-edge medical technology. And as that technology advances, it also creates opportunities for you to continually learn something new. 

In fact, you’ll have opportunities for life-long learning with continuing education courses through meetings, hands-on training, and directed readings provided through the American Society of Radiologic Technologists

Make the next move and start exploring programs

In a relatively short amount of time, you could be delivering potentially life-saving treatment and enjoying an extremely rewarding career. Could joining the profession of radiation therapy be right for you?  

If you’re intrigued by the information you’ve just read, I recommend that you take the next important step and start exploring radiation therapy programs today! 


Jessica Donahue, B.S. R.T. (R) (T) (ARRT) is an experienced radiation therapist and is also Program Chair for the Radiation Therapy Degree Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University. 


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.