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.

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.

Embracing Holistic Healthcare: The Impact of Open-Mindedness on Quality Care

Holistic healthcare has garnered a poor reputation in recent years. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should overlook the importance of holistic care altogether. You may even find that this approach can empower patients and improve health outcomes, as holistic healthcare often places increased importance on people’s emotional, social, and physical health.

That said, you should still utilize critical thinking skills to sort useful information from potentially erroneous treatments. This preserves your professional integrity and ensures that patients get the support they actually need.

Holistic Healthcare

Broadly speaking, holistic healthcare is defined by the Institute for Holistic Health Studies as an approach to life that accounts for all areas of wellness. Folks who use this comprehensive method try to account for the patient’s emotional, social, mental, and physical well-being. Many of the treatments associated with holistic healthcare find their roots in ancient healing traditions and are designed to help folks make lifestyle changes.

Adopting a more comprehensive approach can round out your resume and help you find a fulfilling career path. For example, if you’re a nurse, you may want to consider holistic nursing which is practiced by RNs who are accredited by boards like the American Holistic Nurses Association. Training as a comprehensive nurse will help you utilize the Western approach alongside treatment options like:

  • Therapeutic massage;
  • Breathwork;
  • Meditation.

Becoming a holistic nurse requires plenty of further training, as you’ll need to learn sophisticated skills that are supported by a body of evidence. This is key, as you need to parse useful treatments from dishonest practices. A robust approach to training and education ensures that you’re able to understand the needs of the whole patient and are well-equipped to utilize a range of modalities from traditions and cultures that may not be your own.

Understanding the Patient

Open-minded healthcare helps you get a better understanding of your patients as people. This is key, as you’ll need to take in a range of factors like emotional state and belief systems if you want to treat your patients like people.

Start by educating yourself. Learn more about forgotten populations and aim to understand the gender gap in healthcare. Educating yourself ensures that you’re able to read between the lines when folks come looking for help and won’t inadvertently misdiagnose folks from marginalized populations.

If you do decide to pursue further training as a holistic medical professional, check that the courses you enroll in are properly accredited. Any education opportunities that you pursue should be approved by your state board, too. Many career paths, like becoming an acupuncturist, require accreditation and a Master’s degree as a minimum

You can also find support in the form of books and lectures. For example, if the idea of mindful healthcare appeals to you, you may want to explore the work of Dr. Ronald Epstein. Dr. Epstein advocates for the idea that healthcare providers should use mindfulness on themselves to improve their communication skills. This approach can help you build rapport with patients and navigate challenging topics. That said, you will still need to exercise caution when diving into the world of holistic healthcare to avoid choosing unproven, ineffective treatments.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is key when diving into the world of medicine and alternative treatment. Taking a step back to assess the efficacy of potential treatments can help you better understand the purpose of comprehensive healthcare and minimize your risk of misdiagnosis.

Critical thinking is a crucial skill for nurses, too. Being able to properly identify and evaluate patients’ problems ensures that you’re able to leverage a biomedical approach in conjunction with holistic care. If you’re ever unsure of the best path forward, slow down and reconsider the Institute of Medicine’s hallmarks of quality healthcare, including:

  • Safe: Any treatment plan you prescribe should not cause further harm.
  • Effective: Treatment should make adequate use of effective methods.
  • Patient-Centered: A patient’s needs should always be prioritized over your own professional interests.
  • Timely: Quality care can speed up treatment and minimize wait times.
  • Efficient: Your treatment plan should make good use of resources without causing unnecessary waste or expense.
  • Equitable: You should be able to offer the same quality of care regardless of demographic factors.

Referring to these hallmarks of quality care can help you engage patients in their care and provide a more personal, human touch. This is key as many folks feel disenfranchised when they enter the doctor’s office. If you do utilize holistic healthcare methods, be sure to check in regularly for updates, as many holistic plans require long-term lifestyle changes to improve patients’ overall health and well-being.

Conclusion

Taking an open-minded approach to healthcare can help you build rapport with patients and uncover effective treatment strategies. However, you’ll need to exercise critical thinking and caution when pursuing alternative treatment training. Be sure to work with accredited providers and work to blend the biomedical approach with holistic treatments. This foregrounds patients’ needs and ensures that you can pursue career paths that are meaningful to you.


 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.

Comparing Urban and Rural Nursing: Key Differences and Similarities

City nurses and rural nurses have the same job, but the healthcare cities in their respective communities typically have many significant differences. Urban hospitals are overflowing with patients. They experience higher instances of violent crime. During times of viral illness, their infection rates are considerably higher.

Rural hospitals aren’t a walk in the park either. They are understaffed, underresourced, and at the center of many serious health problems as well. Rural America has extremely high rates of opiate addiction, even in minors.

It’s never a walk in the park working at a hospital. If you are a nurse considering which path is right for you, read on as we compare and contrast urban and rural nursing.

A Common Ground

First of all, it is important to understand that rural and urban nurses share the same basic background. Regardless of their location, both began their journey by entering into some sort of program that certified them as an RN.

There isn’t a unique credential for working in the country versus the city. It sounds almost obvious to say but it is a meaningful distinction to bear in mind.

Many people on both sides of the cornfield border assume a degree of separation between city and rural people that doesn’t exist in real life. There are, of course, important cultural differences between the two settings.

However, at the end of the day, we’re talking about people. From a health perspective, as well as a social one, people are pretty much the same wherever you go.

Nice speech Ms. America. Doesn’t that sort of undermind the concept of your article?

Ahem. Yes. Well, while the human element of healthcare does remain consistent between settings, there are experiential differences that are worth exploring. Below, we compare and contrast rural/urban healthcare.

Patient Demographics

One of the most obvious differences between rural and city nursing is the patient demographics. Urban nurses will come across people from all parts of the world. The bigger the city, the more diversity there will most likely be.

In rural settings, there certainly can be some diversity, but the overall demographic tends to be more monolithic.

Why does this matter? Interacting with people from different backgrounds can require more social awareness and sensitivity than is usually required when working with people you share a background with.

As a city nurse, you will need to be willing to understand other people’s cultures and treat them with respect accordingly.

The Urban Advantage

Talk to any nurse working in an urban setting, and “advantage,” probably won’t be the first word they reach for when describing their place of work. Still, compared to rural hospitals, city systems do have significantly better access to resources.

Some of these resources are staffing-related. It’s hard for rural hospitals to find people for the simple reason that they have a much smaller candidate pool to choose from.

It goes deeper than that, though. City hospitals have more access to specialists and advanced treatment technologies. In fact, when rural people are diagnosed with a particularly challenging or sensitive illness, they will often be referred to urban hospitals.

Scope

Piggybacking off that last idea, urban healthcare workers have more of an opportunity to specialize than their rural counterparts. Because they typically have access to more people, it becomes possible to designate specialty groups.

A nurse working on the cardiac floor in an urban hospital may not need to abruptly change lanes into respiratory.

Rural hospitals are the opposite. They have fewer people to work with, so everyone needs to be versatile in their skills.

From a purely third-party perspective, it is difficult to say which arrangement is better. On the one hand, skill diversity is definitely a good thing. On the other hand, it can also be nice to be on the receiving end of highly specialized care.

Community Bonds

One thing rural hospitals typically do better than their urban counterparts? Community building. It’s hard to establish bonds when you are offering care to tens, or even hundreds of thousands of people. In rural hospitals, the patient pool is considerably smaller.

What’s more, there are also fewer hospitals to go around. One rural county might be served by a single hospital. That means everyone in the community is going to the same place when they require healthcare.

Common Cause

We talked a lot about what rural hospitals have versus what urban ones have. The truth is that neither setting has enough. Hospitals all over the country, all over the world, in fact, are struggling to meet basic needs.

Part of this problem is staffing-related. Just last spring an ER nurse in Washington had to call 911 and ask for backup support. The hospital wasn’t trying to process the victims of a large accident. They just didn’t have enough people to deal with a typical shift.

That’s a big problem, but not an uncommon one. It’s also an issue that has been going on for a long time. More nurses are leaving than coming in.

The new arrivals are entering a challenging time in the history of healthcare. Costs are rising. Technology is changing the experience in ways that no one can quite predict. And community distrust of healthcare has reached a high point as many people all over the country struggle to embrace vaccines and other forms of preventative care.

In other words, nursing isn’t easy, regardless of where you find yourself in the world.


Image by Yaroslav Danylchenko on Freepik


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.

Empowering Patients and Families: The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Palliative Care

The role of a nurse practitioner (NP) offers various types of opportunities and experiences. While many NPs work from doctor’s offices or hospital floors, others focus on more specialized areas. One of these is caring for terminally ill and end-of-life patients as they navigate their palliative journey.

As with so many careers in medicine, being a palliative care NP comes with a range of challenges, demands, and responsibilities. Nevertheless, it can also be a valuable experience in empowering patients and families as they face an emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically significant part of their lives.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of nurse practitioners in palliative care.

Care Planning and Symptom Management

One of the most impactful ways NPs can empower patients and their families is by helping them develop care plans. The last thing many people navigating palliative care want is to have arrangements that affect their lives just dictated to them. Rather, NPs, with their empathetic skill sets and in-depth medical knowledge, can act as expert guides. They provide patients and families with practical advice that both serves medical and emotional needs.

Care planning, by its nature, has to be a meticulous process. After all, terminal illness treatment can be quite complex. NPs can start by making a thorough assessment of the patient’s current health condition. This considers how severe the symptoms of specific illnesses are, but also elements that affect their quality of life, such as range of motion, mobility, and general comfort. NPs can also then discuss what the patient’s palliative journey goals and concerns are.

This is where an NP’s professional and compassionate abilities can be particularly effective. They’ll need to find ways for the medical and personal needs of the patients — and in some instances, the families involved — to meet. If there are problems, such as the side effects of some medications clashing with patients’ quality of life requirements, they discuss the options with the patient. Being transparent about the consequences, challenges, and benefits of different care paths is essential for patients to make informed decisions.

From here, NPs can create a formal document of care and symptom management that is shared with other relevant care staff and specialist medical providers. Importantly, NPs can revisit the plan periodically with patients as their symptoms and preferences develop during their care. This ensures that there’s always a medically robust yet patient-centric approach to delivering services.

Maintaining Mental Wellness

Palliative care is an emotionally and psychologically challenging experience. It’s also important to recognize that there is a growing national mental health crisis. A combination of factors contributes to difficulties here, from the escalating price of psychological health care to the sense of stigma surrounding mental wellness. This may further exacerbate the intense mental and physical impact of the palliative journey. As a result, NPs’ attention and skills are not just directed toward managing patients’ physical symptoms, but also tending to their mental wellness needs.

This can begin with something as simple as regularly checking in with patients about their emotions, thoughts, and concerns. The empathy and compassion NPs bring to their roles can be vital in establishing meaningful connections and trust bonds that encourage patients to share their feelings. In some cases, NPs might act as a bridge between patients and the most relevant resources, such as therapists specializing in terminal illness care. However, with additional training, NPs can also offer therapeutic activities such as guided meditation.

That said, it’s equally important to recognize that NPs’ own mental states can impact their patients. There’s no denying that providing palliative care can be emotionally and psychologically turbulent at times, particularly given the empathetic bonds they forge with patients. If NPs’ mental wellness begins to suffer, this is not only detrimental to their own quality of life but may also impact the quality of the care they provide. It is, therefore, a key part of an NP’s responsibility to take steps to safeguard their wellness. This could include adopting self-care routines and perhaps regularly speaking to therapists about their experiences and feelings.

Streamlining Care Processes

Being able to provide patients with the most thorough and compassionate attention is an important part of being an NP in palliative care. Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult when there are various other tasks to attend to. As a result, one of the ways NPs are most effective is in establishing the most efficient approaches to the tasks that surround the palliative journey.

This may involve regular assessments of medical and administrative practices. Continuously evaluating and improving processes has a variety of benefits. It helps to highlight where there may be unnecessarily repetitive or menial actions that result in inefficiencies. It can also reveal where new technology and automated software tools might offer opportunities to streamline workflows. Not to mention that this type of frequent evaluation is a great way to ensure that NPs are both continuing to meet patients’ needs while maintaining regulatory compliance.

It’s not just NPs themselves that are key to streamlining care processes. Care collaborators, patients, and families can provide useful insights here. Each of these parties has different perspectives on the services provided and what may be influencing bottlenecks or disruptions. NPs lead the charge of carefully gathering and assessing data from these individuals and reviewing what they can adjust accordingly. In essence, this is another way in which NPs facilitate care collaborations that positively impact patients’ quality of life during the palliative journey.

Conclusion

The role of NPs in palliative care involves various medical and administrative duties. However, each of these components, alongside intense empathy and compassion, is geared toward ensuring the most patient-centric approach to care. Throughout each step of making care plans, streamlining processes, and supporting mental wellness, there’s a common thread of striving to offer guidance, comfort, and expertise for this difficult part of life. It’s not an easy career path, but with careful consideration and a strong sense of emotional intelligence, it can certainly be a rewarding one.


Image by Freepik


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.

Navigating the Nursing Specialization Spectrum: A 2023 Skills Primer

Many people are under the misconception that Covid caused the nursing shortage that has been plaguing hospitals all over the country for the last several years. Which makes sense. It’s the big bad boogyman that can be blamed for everything from the state of the housing market to the increasingly fraught political scene playing out all across the country.

And while the coronavirus did certainly accelerate resignations in the healthcare industry, reducing the staffing shortages we see today to a casualty of the pandemic ignores the true source of the problem.

Nursing is hard.

So hard, that for decades, more people have been leaving the profession than entering it. And when most nurses quit, they don’t pivot into a different aspect of healthcare. They leave for different waters entirely.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are many different types of specialties in nursing, each with a unique set of requirements and rewards. In this article, we provide a sweeping primer on the different types of nursing specializations.

Specialty Skills

Despite a fairly quick education for nurses, there a certain set of skills that are required to specialize in a specific nursing field? There are certainly a wide range of concepts that may be unique to each field. However, the skills required to be an effective nurse are largely consistent among the various fields.

  • Empathy: Nurses need to be able to understand and sympathize with their patients’ situations. This quality empowers them to be effective advocates for people who are going through the most vulnerable moments of their lives.
  • Patience: Most people agree that the healthcare industry is frustrating. Just imagine how frustrating it is for people who are completely entrenched in it. Nurses need to have the patience to deal with the stresses of the job and the complications of the industry if they are going to be effective.
  • Adaptability: Nursing requires a significant amount of flexibility every day. As a nurse, you may have long periods of tedium followed by extremely intense and abrupt situations that require your full attention. You will also be expected to adapt to new regulations, expectations, and ways of doing things. School is never completely out for nurses so be prepared for a life of learning.

These skills will help you prepare for a life in nursing, regardless of what specialization you choose. Below, we take a look at how to specialize, and what jobs will be waiting for you when you do.

How to Specialize

All specialized nurses start by going through a four-year degree program, or an accelerated equivalent that is licensed in their state. During that time, they are able to choose specialties that qualify them to work in a unique setting.

However, some specializations may require additional schooling, or training programs. Highly competitive jobs may even only accept applicants who have years of clinical or bedside experience.

Each job is a little bit different in its requirements, but all of them favor professionals who are willing to work hard and put in the time to learn the ropes.

Below we feature five prominent examples of nursing specializations. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are literally dozens of potential jobs.

Diabetes Nursing

Diabetes is hard to manage. Even healthcare workers with diabetes struggle to get the right balance of glucose-related needs, and often experience sleepless nights as they try to regulate their blood sugar and stay safe.

Imagine how it feels to be on the outside of the healthcare system and find out very abruptly that diabetes has just changed your life forever.

Diabetes nurses are there to help make the transition more manageable. They meet regularly with newly diagnosed diabetics, answering their questions and helping them understand what to expect. Typically, they will work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and diabetes management centers.

In certain situations, they may even help people develop a strategy for transitioning out of diabetes (as is sometimes possible with Type 2 diabetes).

It’s important work that literally helps save lives. However, it also tends to have more relaxed hours than traditional bedside nursing. Most diabetes nurses don’t have to work holidays or night shifts, making this an ideal position for people that enjoy being a nurse but are interested in getting a better work-life balance.

Pediatric Nursing

If you like the little kiddos, pediatric nursing might be for you. Pediatric nurses work with infants all the way up to eighteen-year-olds, assisting with a broad range of early health needs. Pediatric nurses can be found in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, and doctors’ offices.

While they certainly are there to help with the physical needs of their patients, they also receive training to deal with the complex and ever-evolving emotional needs of young patients, making them an important aspect of their patient’s lives.

Critical Care Nursing

Critical care nursing isn’t for the faint of heart. These nurses work with patients in some of their most desperate moments, usually in the ICU, or other high-acuity settings in which the outcome of a procedure could quite literally mean life or death for the patient.

These nurses are specifically trained to work with people who have experienced life-threatening injuries or other deadly health events. Responsibilities can range from assisting in surgery to administering important medications and monitoring vital signs.

As is surely clear, this isn’t a good fit for people who are looking for lower-stakes nursing. However, if you appreciate a fast-paced work environment and you thrive under pressure, this may be right for you.

Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing

Gynecological and obstetric nursing specializes in providing care to women during and after pregnancy. It’s very much a women’s health position, focusing particularly on the reproductive stage of life. It can be an exciting job, helping families grow, but there are also many pressures to be aware of.

Gynecological nurses working in the hospital setting will assist with childbirth, which in and of itself is a daunting process. There are also many very significant complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, adding a degree of pressure to this job.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatric nursing sees the nurse working directly with patients who are suffering from mental and emotional disorders. These responsibilities play out in psychiatric hospitals, clinics, and even community health centers.

The role of a nurse may be to help manage medications or even administer therapeutic interventions that help the patient cope with mental and emotional distress.

It’s challenging work, certainly not for the faint of heart, but it can make a significant difference in the lives of the patients who are impacted.


Image by Freepik


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.

The Growing Demand for Teletherapy: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Virtual Mental Health Services

The landscape of mental health support has undergone significant transformation over the years. Traditional in-person therapy, a longstanding pillar of psychological care, has witnessed a notable evolution with the advent of teletherapy. This digital medium has emerged as a response to the contemporary challenges posed by our fast-paced world, offering new avenues for delivering psychological assistance.

Recent statistics highlight the increasing preference for teletherapy, with its usage surging over the past decade, surpassing traditional in-person sessions. In 2020, Doctor On Demand, a telehealth provider, reported a 50% surge in new teletherapy patients within six weeks—a demand surpassing the peak of COVID-19-related anxiety in March and April.

Understanding Teletherapy: Mechanics and Evolution

Definition and Scope:

Teletherapy, also called online therapy, virtual therapy, or e-therapy, encompasses a range of therapeutic interventions delivered through digital communication channels. These channels primarily include video, audio, and text-based interactions, bridging the geographical gap between therapists and clients. 

In teletherapy, therapists and clients engage in therapeutic conversations and interventions via secure platforms and applications, eliminating the need for physical presence in a traditional therapy setting. This medium allows individuals to access mental health support from the comfort of their environments, addressing concerns such as accessibility, privacy, and convenience.

Modes of Teletherapy

Video-Based Teletherapy:

Video-based teletherapy involves real-time visual interactions between therapists and clients through video conferencing. This modality replicates face-to-face sessions, enabling therapists to read nonverbal cues and expressions. Pros include a closer semblance to traditional therapy and the ability to establish rapport, but potential drawbacks involve technical glitches, privacy concerns, and the requirement for a stable internet connection.

Phone-Based Teletherapy:

Phone-based teletherapy relies on audio conversations conducted over the phone. This mode offers accessibility and convenience, requiring only a working phone line. Clients might feel more comfortable sharing sensitive topics verbally, but limitations include the absence of visual cues and potential communication misinterpretations.

Text-Based Teletherapy:

Text-based teletherapy occurs through written exchanges, often using messaging platforms or email. This mode allows clients to articulate thoughts more thoughtfully and offers flexibility in scheduling. However, it lacks real-time interaction and nonverbal cues and may hinder the establishment of immediate rapport.

Benefits of Teletherapy: Expanding Horizons

The benefits of teletherapy contribute to a transformative shift in mental health care, offering flexibility, accessibility, and customization that traditional in-person therapy might struggle to achieve. As technology continues to evolve, the following advantages will further shape the landscape of mental health support and widen its reach.

Enhanced Accessibility and Convenience:

  • Transcending Geographical Barriers: Teletherapy eliminates the need for clients to be near their therapists. Individuals residing in remote or underserved areas gain access to mental health support that may have been previously inaccessible due to geographical constraints. This is particularly significant for those in rural regions or countries lacking mental health infrastructure.
  • Flexibility of Scheduling: Teletherapy accommodates various time zones and busy lifestyles. Clients and therapists can schedule sessions at times that suit both parties, promoting continuity of care. This flexibility is valuable for professionals, caregivers, or individuals with irregular schedules.

Anonymity and Stigma Reduction:

  • Open Discussion of Sensitive Topics: Virtual sessions foster a sense of anonymity, making it easier for clients to discuss sensitive or embarrassing topics. This reduced fear of judgment can lead to more honest and open conversations, enhancing the therapeutic process and outcomes.
  • Engagement for Marginalized Communities: Teletherapy can reduce the stigma of seeking mental health care within specific cultural or conservative contexts. Marginalized communities, where mental health issues might carry a solid social stigma, find a safe space to access support without the fear of being recognized or judged within their communities.

Broadening Therapist Selection and Expertise:

  • Global Pool of Therapists: Teletherapy transcends geographical boundaries, allowing clients to choose from a diverse global pool of therapists. This widens the options available for individuals seeking specific therapeutic approaches, cultural understandings, or languages that may not be prevalent in their local area.
  • Ease of Finding Specialized Help: Virtual platforms facilitate finding therapists with specialized expertise. Clients can easily search for professionals specializing in their concerns, such as trauma, LGBTQ+ issues, or specific therapeutic modalities. This tailored approach enhances the likelihood of receiving adequate treatment.

Challenges of Teletherapy: Navigating Complexities

Technology-Related Hurdles:

Teletherapy faces potential challenges rooted in technology. Disparities in internet connectivity can hinder access for individuals in remote areas or those with limited resources. The reliability of internet connections may impact session quality, causing disruptions and communication delays. 

Moreover, technical issues such as audio/video malfunctions or platform glitches can disrupt the therapy flow, potentially affecting the therapeutic alliance between the client and therapist. Overcoming these hurdles necessitates technological literacy and contingency plans to address unexpected disruptions.

Establishing Therapeutic Rapport:

Building a strong therapeutic rapport is essential in any therapy setting but presents unique challenges in the virtual realm. The absence of non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, can hinder therapists’ ability to gauge clients’ emotions and reactions accurately. 

Therapists must employ alternative strategies to establish trust, such as active listening, clarifying client feelings, and encouraging open communication. Developing these techniques helps compensate for the limitations of the digital medium, ensuring that the therapeutic connection remains robust and effective.

Ethical and Privacy Considerations:

Ethical and privacy concerns become more intricate in the online therapy landscape. Ensuring the security of client data and maintaining confidentiality is paramount, given the digital nature of the interactions. Therapists must employ encrypted communication platforms, conduct sessions in private settings, and educate clients on best practices for safeguarding their personal information. 

Additionally, therapists must navigate issues like establishing the identity of clients in virtual environments and addressing potential breaches of confidentiality due to technical vulnerabilities. Adhering to strict ethical guidelines and staying updated on the latest privacy regulations helps create a secure and trustworthy digital therapeutic space.

Efficacy and Clinical Considerations: Evidence and Adaptation

Comparative Effectiveness:

The efficacy of teletherapy versus traditional in-person therapy has been extensively studied. Research consistently shows that teletherapy is as effective as in-person therapy for various mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, and substance use disorders. Teletherapy excels in providing access to care for individuals who may face geographical or physical barriers, enhancing treatment engagement, and offering flexibility in scheduling. However, the efficacy might vary based on individual preferences, the severity of the condition, and the quality of the therapeutic relationship established through the virtual medium.

Adapting Therapeutic Approaches:

Therapists must adapt their approaches to optimize outcomes in the virtual environment. For instance, addressing rapport-building challenges can involve incorporating icebreakers, active listening techniques, and explicitly encouraging clients to share their emotions. Therapists can employ screen-sharing to visualize concepts, use digital tools for mindfulness exercises, and integrate video-based exposure therapy for anxiety disorders. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can effectively translate into teletherapy, focusing on structured goal-setting and skill-building. Therapists must also pay special attention to screen fatigue and encourage clients to maintain healthy boundaries between therapy and personal life.

Innovative practices include integrating virtual reality technology for exposure therapy, utilizing AI-driven tools for mood tracking, and implementing asynchronous text-based interventions for ongoing support between sessions. The virtual setting offers opportunities for clients to practice skills in real-life contexts and receive immediate feedback, enhancing the therapeutic process. Nonetheless, therapists must remain attuned to clients’ responses and adjust interventions as needed, ensuring that the tailored approach effectively achieves desired therapeutic outcomes.

Future Implications and Innovations: Pathways Forward

As teletherapy continues to evolve, its integration with technology, expanded accessibility, and innovative approaches are set to redefine how mental health care is delivered and experienced. This transformation holds promise in addressing existing limitations and ensuring that quality mental health support is available to those who need it, regardless of their location or circumstances.

Integration into Mainstream Mental Health Care:

Teletherapy is poised to become a staple within mainstream mental health services. As society embraces digital interactions, teletherapy’s accessibility, convenience, and effectiveness will likely lead to its broader adoption. Mental health organizations and institutions are increasingly incorporating teletherapy into their offerings, expanding the reach of mental health support.

Regulatory frameworks are evolving to accommodate virtual services, further solidifying teletherapy’s place within the mental health landscape. This integration will complement traditional in-person therapy, providing clients various options that suit their preferences and needs.

Technological Advancements:

Cutting-edge technologies are shaping the future of teletherapy, promising even more engaging and effective interventions. Virtual reality (VR) applications can simulate real-world environments for exposure therapy, helping clients confront their fears within a controlled setting. AI-assisted tools can analyze client data to provide personalized insights and suggest tailored interventions, enhancing therapist-client collaboration. Predictive analytics might help identify potential relapses or deteriorations, allowing for timely interventions. These innovations can improve therapeutic outcomes by offering more immersive, data-driven, individualized treatment experiences.

Improved Accessibility and Affordability:

Teletherapy can potentially address current accessibility and affordability challenges within mental health care. By eliminating geographical constraints, individuals in underserved or rural areas can access specialized therapists and interventions. Reduced overhead costs associated with physical facilities can lead to cost savings, translating to more affordable client services. Teletherapy’s flexibility also means clients can engage in therapy without taking extended time off work or navigating transportation hurdles. These factors combined can contribute to democratizing mental health care, making it more accessible to a broader range of individuals.

Final Thoughts

Teletherapy has emerged as a transformative force in mental health care, offering a range of advantages that address diverse needs. Its ability to transcend geographical barriers, reduce stigma, and broaden therapist selection has democratized access to support. However, persistent challenges such as technological hurdles, rapport-building complexities, and ethical considerations underscore the need for ongoing efforts to refine this evolving approach.

As mental health professionals navigate the complexities of virtual interactions, it is essential to recognize the potential of teletherapy as a complementary tool rather than a replacement for traditional therapy. Incorporating teletherapy into practice can expand options for clients while maintaining the highest standards of care. To achieve this, sustained research and innovation are paramount. We must continue to explore the effectiveness of teletherapy across various conditions, refine therapeutic techniques, and harness emerging technologies for optimized outcomes.

 


Shauna Larson, a passionate mental wellness advocate. For the last five years, she employs her personal experience and deep understanding of mental health to illuminate the complexities and challenges that many face every day. Her thoughtful insights and relatable narratives have been featured in a variety of publications, cultivating a loyal readership that values her authentic voice and practical advice.


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.

Five Technological Skills for Accelerating Your Healthcare Career

During the height of the pandemic hospitals were faced with an unprecedented demand for their services. At the same time, they were also forced to make do with fewer personnel than they were accustomed to as nurses and doctors resigned from their positions en masse.

For many hospitals, data implementation, and processing was a key aspect of staying afloat during Covid-19.

Since then, the relationship between digital technology and healthcare has only expanded. From digital healthcare records to data processing, and even AI-generated automation, there are now more ways than ever for people in the healthcare industry to weave tech skills into their professional life.

In this article, we take a look at five tech-related skills that people hoping to accelerate their careers in the healthcare industry should have.

Health Information Technology (HIT) Literacy

Healthcare-related records have been transiting into cyberspace for the last couple of decades. This development has had many positive impacts both for the patient— who can now access their health data any time they want it— and the hospitals, which can share relevant data in real-time as needed to expedite processes.

But there’s a flip side. Isn’t there always? When healthcare records were a physical thing, keeping them safe was straightforward. They lived in a protected room. Only authorized personnel were able to see them, and even then, all interactions were guided by HIPAA regulations.

How can you replicate that same level of security for something that exists in the vagueries of cloud-based technology?

Well, for one thing, it’s important to understand the new rules. Healthcare professionals are now expected and required to fully comprehend and comply with HIPAA regulations as they relate to digital technology.

By understanding the rules and general practices surrounding digital health, healthcare workers are able to streamline their workflows while boosting patient outcomes in the process.

Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring

Telehealth is the practice of treating patients remotely. Naturally, it isn’t a perfect fit for every situation. However, there are many circumstances in which it can be beneficial both to the patient and the hospital serving them.

On the patient end, telehealth technology makes it easy to get quick answers to simple questions. For the hospital, it allows professionals to treat a larger number of people in a shorter amount of time. Considering how bottlenecked the healthcare system is, this is an enormous boon for everyone.

However, it does require additional training and effort on the part of healthcare professionals. Modern doctors and nurses should be well-versed in the unique requirements of remote patient monitoring and telehealth consultations.

Administrators, meanwhile, should understand the world of virtual health, and be able to facilitate the needs of caregivers and patients alike.

Data Analytics and Health Informatics

We talked about the importance of data in the modern medical landscape at the beginning of this article. However, the value of having healthcare networks that are able to comprehend and leverage large datasets is difficult to overstate.

Hospitals that understand their numbers are able to maximize the impact of their resources. During Covid, this meant figuring out how to best prioritize care in the face of an enormous influx of patients. During ordinary times (such as they are in the context of a hospital) data access can help improve everything from community outreach to specific patient recommendations.

Naturally, the more specific and precise caregivers are, the better the patient outcomes are likely to be. But there is a problem. Traditional doctors and nurses aren’t necessarily well-versed in digital technology. Are there professionals out there who are adequately literate in data and health?

The answer to that question is yes. Informatics nursing combines both disciplines to equip hospitals with the skills they need to adequately serve their communities.

Administrators are also being trained in how they can use data to maximize the effectiveness of their resources and improve general workflows.

Cybersecurity Awareness

The healthcare industry is frequently the target of cybercriminals. Patient data has a significant resale value on the dark web, and cyber terrorists are also quite aware that they can create a great deal of fear with a few well-chosen healthcare-related targets.

This was made clear in the spring of 2019 when Ireland’s entire digital healthcare network was brought day for months by a group of Russian hackers.

While most people feel they are well-equipped to handle themselves safely online the reality of the situation is usually not quite so promising. It takes a significant amount of effort and training for healthcare workers to stay safe online.

Mobile Health (mHealth) and Wearable Technology

Wearable health technology has proliferated in recent years as IoT-powered wearables have grown in prominence and accessibility. These days, a significant portion of the population has access to some form of wearable health technology.

Even a Fitbit can produce meaningful health-related data that medical professionals can use to offer more precise patient care. And of course, that’s far from all that is out there. From heart monitors and pacemakers to glucose monitoring systems that hook up to smart devices, there are more ways than ever for healthcare professionals to view their patients’ information in real-time.

Mobile health monitoring is a vital skill that not only elevates the marketability of healthcare professionals but also vastly improves potential 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.

Exploring the Importance of Communication Skills in the Healthcare Industry

The world relies so much on the healthcare industry. It employs thousands of new workers every year. It’s where people go to get care and improve their holistic health. And we rely on healthcare professionals of various disciplines to develop new medicines, treatments, healthcare standards, policies, and so forth to drive health and wellness forward.

With so much riding on the healthcare industry, a lot can go wrong if any challenges aren’t adequately addressed. One of the most significant challenges is communication.

Let’s dive into why communication skills are so critical in the industry and how you can develop yours to work better with fellow healthcare professionals and deliver higher-quality care to patients.

Why Effective Communication is Critical in the Healthcare Industry

Effective communication is up there on the list of most important elements contributing to the healthcare industry’s success. However, without it, many of the healthcare industry’s problems persist, such as organizational silos and difficult patient relationships.

To avoid this, healthcare workers need to work together in several key ways to improve the patient experience.

Collaborate with colleagues in different departments

Organizational silos, as mentioned earlier, are an issue in the healthcare industry. It can typically occur when individual groups in an organization tend to stick to themselves. You typically see it with employees who work in the same department, role, or location.

Silos are dangerous because employees aren’t as forthcoming with information and documents with other departments, leading to a lack of communication across departments.

Excellent communication is the only way to facilitate interprofessional collaboration. You can’t collaborate effectively with other people in the absence of communication. You need to be able to reach out to anyone, disclose what you need, and devise a plan to get it done with that person or people efficiently. Patient and organizational outcomes depend on it.

Improve relationships and communication with patients

It’s no secret that many patients struggle with their relationships with their healthcare providers. For example, many haven’t developed a genuine enough relationship with their provider to be open and honest about sensitive information, impacting their ability to get the care they need.

Many patients struggle with the complex medical terminology doctors use and have difficulty understanding what to do. Or, there’s a lack of empathy shown by providers in emotionally-charged situations, which ultimately convinces a patient not to come back.

Fortunately, most of the challenges with patient relationships and conversations can be solved with effective communication.

Something as simple as sitting down with a patient for conversations rather than standing over them can make the patient feel more comfortable with you. Speaking in plain language and ensuring everything is confidential can help build trust and open up the lines of communication for better relationships as well.

Better working conditions at healthcare organizations

One of the reasons poor communication exists in the healthcare industry is because of unmanageable workloads. A 2021 Mercer study suggested that we’ll be just over 3 million healthcare workers short in critical healthcare occupations like nursing assistants come 2026.

This means more demanding work schedules for those who are employed in the industry., and, in turn, a rise in burnt-out healthcare employees who have no choice but to rush through appointments with patients to meet the demand.

This leads to poor communication because they can’t spend the time they need to with patients to ensure they fully understand what’s going on with their health and how to address it.

With effective communication skills, you can speak up about the work schedule you need to ensure quality patient interactions. You can advocate for better work schedules and encourage others to do the same.

In addition, when you effectively communicate with your managers and colleagues, you can determine how to best support each other’s needs.

Practical Tips for Developing Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is obviously a must-have in any healthcare organization. As important as it is for the entire industry to adopt good communication practices, you only have control over what you do.

It’s essential to lead by example and develop your communication skills first. That will hopefully inspire your colleagues, managers, and other staff around you to do the same. You can do that in the following steps:

  • Determine how your communication style can improve. Start with understanding where you fall short with communication and examining each interaction you have with patients and coworkers.
  • Make every patient and coworker interaction an opportunity to improve your communication skills. Set a communication-oriented goal for the day and do it in every conversation. For example, if your goal is to grow your listening skills, you could ask two follow-up questions in every patient or colleague interaction to work on active listening.
  • Learn all of the communication tools implemented by your organization. Unified communications on a single platform in the workplace make real-time communication across departments doable, thus enabling more accurate and efficient patient care. Set aside time each day to get to know the features and functions of your unified communications platform. Make a list of any other communication tools your organization uses and get familiar with those as well.

When going through each step, take your time. The more care you take in evaluating your communication style, the more you’ll understand how you can improve and how you can make the patient experience all the better.

Conclusion

The longer poor communication exists in the healthcare industry, the more time it will take to achieve high-quality patient care for everyone and seamless communication across departments and facilities.

Do your part in achieving effective communication within your organization by growing your personal communication skills with the tips above.


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 Does Holistic Care Fit in with Existing Models?

Health is a complex state involving a huge number of different systems within the body. These systems are all deeply interconnected, making it difficult to treat one aspect of health without treating the person as a whole. That’s the goal for devotees of holistic care.

Medicine is typically focused on treating specific symptoms and interventions. Instead of looking at the whole and using the least invasive method possible, traditional methods typically use prescription drugs and invasive procedures to treat symptoms and diseases.

While traditional medicine is a critical tool for keeping people healthy, it’s worth seeing how holistic care can fit in with existing models. Here’s why integrating holistic care can help to improve the healthcare system overall.

Understanding Holistic Care

There are many key differences between traditional medicine and holistic health care. Holistic care puts a much larger emphasis on personalized treatment and the interconnectedness of different aspects of health.

Some examples of holistic medicine treatments include acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, personalized diet planning, meditation and yoga, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, naturopathy, energy healing, and more. Many of these techniques are used to help maintain overall health, in addition to their use in addressing specific problems.

Holistic care and traditional medicine are often treated as entirely separate. However, both can provide optimal benefits when they are used together to promote better health. By using holistic health in tandem with traditional care, patients can often enjoy better outcomes with less invasive methods.

 Limitations of Traditional Medicine

Traditional medicine has many advantages over holistic care in some situations. When someone needs antibiotics or another medication that is designed to treat a certain problem, holistic medicine is usually not sufficient. Surgery is also sometimes needed to treat health problems that cannot be resolved using minimally invasive treatments.

With that said, there are limitations to traditional medicine, especially for chronic conditions. Doctors often don’t get to spend much time with patients, making traditional medicine less personalized. There is also less emphasis placed on preventative care and acknowledging the interconnectedness of health.

Integrating Holistic Care with Traditional Medicine

So, what does integrating holistic care with traditional medicine look like? Well, it starts with ensuring that healthcare providers have a solid understanding of the benefits, applications, and limitations of holistic medicine. Without a patient’s entire care team being on board with the methods used to promote their health, it is very difficult to fully realize the benefits of using holistic care alongside traditional medicine.

A focus on patient-centered care, especially when integrating holistic medicine approaches, is key to success. The patient must be an active participant and invested in the plan to integrate care approaches. This means that they must be part of the decision-making process and their goals and values considered when creating a health plan.

In holistic care, emotional and spiritual well-being is part of the whole picture. In addition to using holistic and traditional health approaches, care integration often has patients working with traditional mental health professionals and alternative spiritual healers.

How Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Can Benefit Patients

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to the techniques used in holistic medicine to help patients achieve better health. One benefit of using these methods is enhanced preventative care. People who use holistic care on a regular basis can often maintain their health better and prevent some issues from coming up.

CAM is also frequently used for people who have chronic conditions. Holistic care can often help individual patients manage pain when prescription drugs are not helping or are not considered safe. With concerns about addiction, side effects, and other issues, many patients with chronic pain want to explore other options for managing their condition safely.

Another common use for CAM is in palliative care. End-of-life care in traditional settings can be extremely traumatic for patients and their families, stripping them of their autonomy and dignity. Holistic care can be used to help empower patients and provide them with comfort in hospice settings. Using CAM, patients and their families can have a better end-of-life experience.

Overcoming Challenges to Integrate Holistic Care

Although there are many benefits to integrating holistic care, there are some challenges to overcome when patients or providers are interested in using it. For instance, insurance coverage is limited for some types of therapies, putting care out of reach for many patients. Even when providers prioritize the whole person in the healthcare theories they use and recommend holistic care as a supplement to traditional medicine, these methods can be financially out of reach.

Another challenge is skepticism among both providers and patients. A lack of understanding of the benefits and limitations of holistic care, and the way they can work in tandem, prevents many providers from recommending or even recognizing these methods.

The good news is that technology is making it easier to not only deliver holistic care but also to track outcomes. As more research is done on CAM, we can expect to see more patients and providers embracing these therapies as a way to promote better, more personalized health among patients of all backgrounds.


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.