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.

Why Now is a Better Time Than Ever to Career Pivot Within the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is in a very interesting and unique time period right now. While healthcare will always be around, there are certain social and now industrial trends that are making a better time than ever to pivot careers within the healthcare industry.

Generational Changes

 

The number of senior citizens that will soon be needing regular care is making it a much more viable period for career move in the healthcare industry. With that influx of population numbers means that there will be a consistently high demand for many more positions within the healthcare industry as a whole.

The healthcare industry is projected to have the highest levels of industrial growth — an average of 14%, almost 7% more than other sectors.  As such all of the individual positions that make up the healthcare system as a whole will need to be staffed so the availability of new, and open positions all over the country will be easier to find.

Work-life Balance Changes

 

The pandemic did more than just disrupt human beings ability to connect face to face, the years of intense social isolation also created a unique gap in time where people began to rethink what was truly valuable in life. Many people ended up deciding that working a job they didn’t like, for little pay, and even less respect was a waste of time.

More people are vocal and looking for careers that will support a healthier work-lifestyle balance that allows for more freedom, flexibility, and even the removal of having to go into an office all together. While the healthcare industry will likely always maintain a heavy presence of traditional office spaces, there has also been a greater awareness and demand within healthcare workers for greater levels of respect, better pay, more vacation time, and a lower patient to worker ratio.

These things have always been of value to workers, but it was the intensity of the pandemic pushing people into shockingly high rates of burnout that really caused the industry standards to change.  Ever since then, the constant demands among workers for more acceptable standards has moved healthcare providers to write those policies into contracts. So for anyone looking to make a change in careers, either vertically or horizontally, they are likely to find much better benefits now than in years past.

Schooling is More Flexible

 

Changes in the healthcare industry mean that there is more training necessitated for certain positions. The education industry has also been going through a lot of changes, most of this is due to the need and demand created by business professionals and parents who need more flexibility in their schedules to go back to school. This demand has created a myriad of ways and means by which someone can go back to school for advanced degrees or to work on an additional certification such as with technology enhanced learning.

Hybrid programs that allow for on campus and online forums create more opportunities and availability to tailor programs into the type of knowledge base that one may need to look good on a resume. Additionally, the number of schools that are offering these adjustable programs and classes means that there are plenty of universities and institutions to choose from so almost any budget can be accommodated.

Increased Availability of Jobs


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ten of the top twenty jobs that are projected to be the fastest-growing jobs in America over the next decade or so are all in the healthcare industry. The projections? An expected 8 million more jobs in that industry alone. Much of this can be traced back to the quickly aging population of Baby Boomers who will be considered senior citizens in the coming decades. That higher demand means that there will be plenty of open positions.

Here are just a few of the jobs that are expected to garner great demand: Physicians, geriatric nurses, hospice care providers, retirement home workers, therapists, research assistants, hospital administrators, and of course nurses of all kinds. The doors are open and HR personnel are already looking to try and staff for the years to come.

It may be much easier and less competitive to look for jobs now rather than in a few years when things start to fill out.


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.

3 Things To Keep in Mind When Looking for Remote Healthcare Jobs

Working from home can be a godsend if you value your work-life balance or have responsibilities outside of work. You can spend the time you would’ve spent commuting looking after kids, meeting up with friends, and pursuing your favorite hobbies.

However, finding fulfilling remote healthcare jobs can be a struggle. Everyone’s looking for telehealth openings today and the competition is fierce online.

You also need to keep your preferences in mind when searching for remote healthcare jobs. How will you transition to working from home and what support will you need to be successful? Answering these questions is key if you want to hit the ground running when you land your first remote position.

Skills You’ll Need

Historically, remote work in healthcare has been all but impossible. Patients needed to come into a physical healthcare facility to see doctors and nurses, and were best served by staff who were there with them. However, the recent rise of remote work has changed this paradigm. As such, 45% of all healthcare workers now have the opportunity to work remotely at least some of the time.

The rise of remote work is encouraging if you’re looking to work from home. But, before you begin buying home office decor, you’ll need to re-skill for remote work.

Start by boosting your communication skills. This is particularly important if you plan on leading a team and need to keep everyone on the same page. You can facilitate better decision-making and improve your remote collaboration by learning to leverage synchronous and asynchronous participation. Visual activities, like virtual sticky notes, give everyone a chance to participate in remote meetings regardless of their communication style. This ensures you get the most out of your team members.

You’ll also need to improve your ability to request and review feedback. Gathering feedback is key when working remotely, as you can’t rely on cues like body language to decide if you’re doing a good job. Solicit feedback by giving everyone a chance to provide reviews and document the changes you plan to make based on the answers you receive.

Going remote can be emotionally taxing. You aren’t always able to connect with patients when working online and may be frustrated when telehealth technology doesn’t work correctly. To address these issues and reduce your stress, you should improve important soft skills for remote work like:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Cultural literacy
  • Time management
  • Adaptability

These soft skills will serve you well when a server goes down or a patient can’t access their health portal. An adaptable, culturally informed approach will help you serve folks from all walks of life, regardless of their physical location.

Compliance

Going remote can restore your work-life balance and help you connect with people from around the country. This is particularly empowering if you want to serve folks who live in rural locations and rely heavily on telehealth services.

However, before you switch to a telehealth career, you’ll need to receive an appropriate license to operate remotely. This is particularly important if you plan to work across state lines. The American Medical Association explains that receiving a full license in a new state can take up to 60 days. This gives the Federation Credentials Verification Service time to check your credentials properly and protects the public from harm.

You’ll also need to stay up to date with changes to HIPAA guidance. This requires a significant effort on your end and emphasizes the importance of risk management in healthcare. A robust compliance and risk management policy can ensure HIPAA compliance, enhance your reputation as a healthcare worker, and eliminate privacy concerns that may arise when you go remote.

Remote Work Success

Work with your employer when making the transition to remote work. Most healthcare providers already have a robust telehealth and remote work policy in place and will be able to help you navigate the change. This is key if you work with sensitive data, as you may need an encrypted wireless router and a VPN if you want to remain HIPAA compliant when working from home.

Your employer may have funds set aside to help you turn a room in your home into an office. This is key if you have kids and need to focus while they’re playing nearby. You may even consider converting your garage into a home office. A garage makes for the perfect home office space, as it’s on your property yet gives you a buffer from home life’s trials and tribulations. When modifying your garage, focus on changes like:

  • Keypad locks for enhanced security
  • Insulation to maintain a stable temperature
  • Suitable furniture to support your posture when working
  • Power strips to charge your devices

Remember to add a personal touch once you’ve taken care of the basics. This can enhance your productivity and transform your dusty garage into a workspace that supports your career.

Conclusion

Going remote can improve your career trajectory and give you the work-life balance you’ve always wanted. However, before taking the plunge, you’ll need to re-skill to remain compliant. Re-skilling for remote work can improve your productivity and help you make the most of your new-found home office space.


 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.

Stress Relief Tips for Healthcare Workers

Up to 70% of healthcare workers feel stressed according to a newly released 2023 study. While having high amounts of stress isn’t good for anyone, it can result in unique consequences for healthcare workers, says Dr. Jenna Sage. This makes it especially important for individuals in healthcare roles to find ways to lower their stress levels.

Dr. Sage is Director of Organizational Wellness and Wellbeing at Ultimate Medical Academy, a nonprofit healthcare educational institution that offers a variety of diploma and degree programs both online and at its Clearwater, Florida campus. In addition to helping employees tend to their mental health, she also has a passion for helping healthcare workers reduce their stress—especially post-pandemic.

Why Stress Relief is Critical for Healthcare Workers

“A lot of healthcare workers are naturally nurturing and empathetic,” says Dr. Sage, “so they can struggle to regulate their own stress and wellness.” Put another way, you are so intent on helping your patients that you forget to help yourself. Dr. Sage compares this to the airlines’ instructions to put your mask on before putting a mask on someone else if the plane experiences issues. You can’t help anyone else if you don’t look after yourself first.

Plus, being in a healthcare role, you’re also exposed to the stress being experienced by your patients and their families. This can impact your stress levels further. Not to mention, patients can feel if you’re stressed and the last thing most healthcare workers want is to pass their stress onto others.

Not all stress is bad for you. The problem exists when stress exists consistently over several weeks or months at a time. This is referred to as chronic stress, which research indicates puts individuals at a greater risk of developing a variety of physical and mental health disorders. Chronic stress can even change brain structure, negatively affecting cognitive function and memory.

“Stress should be a temporary thing,” explains Dr. Sage. “The consequence of not relieving stress or having those resilience mechanisms is we lose that sense of balance. Stress is like a warning light to us. It’s really our body’s reminder to regulate ourselves and to find balance. When you start to see signs of stress in your physical body, you’re not sleeping as much, or you’re more agitated, it’s your body telling you that you need to regulate your stress.”

Effective Ways to Relieve Stress Quickly

If you feel like your warning light is going off and your body is out of balance, Dr. Sage shares that there are several things you can do to reduce your feelings of stress quickly, yet effectively. “These are going to sound hokey at first,” she admits, “but they really are the strategies that work.”

The first strategy that Dr. Sage recommends is breathing. “Take intentional deep breaths,” suggests Dr. Sage, which involves taking a series of deep inhales and exhales. Other relaxing breathing techniques include inhaling and exhaling to a count of four and box breathing. Box breathing is when you inhale, hold the breath, exhale, then hold before inhaling again.

Another way to relieve stress quickly is with kinesthetic activities, also referred to as hands-on activities. This includes doing things such as singing, moving your body, shaking it out, and walking outside. “The movement processes the chemicals involved with stress out of the body,” says Dr. Sage.

Stress also has a way of depleting your energy. What’s the solution when you’re feeling low on energy due to increased stress? “We have to find the things that put the juice in our batteries,” says Dr. Sage, adding that it’s important to recognize that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else.

For example, while you might find that time with friends helps increase your energy levels while reducing your stress, others may experience the same effect by spending less time with friends. Another example is music. Some people play loud music as a way to de-stress while, for others, it’s soft music that provides this effect. Consider what makes you feel less stressed, then do it when you feel your stress levels start to rise.

It can also help to keep a positive mindset. We simply feel better when we’re positive, but positive thinking might have health advantages as well. One is that it may protect against inflammatory damage caused by stress, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Other benefits include contributing to better decision-making and a greater focus on long-term goals.

Being positive is beneficial to patients too. “When you have a positive mindset, you pass that on to the people around you,” says Dr. Sage. So, you can help your patients experience less stress and more positivity by keeping your own mindset in a positive space.

Professional Help Available to Healthcare Workers

If you try to relieve your stress but nothing seems to work, it may be time to seek professional help. Dr. Sage recommends starting within your own healthcare system by accessing your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if one is available. Several EAPs include mental health benefits. Ask if yours is one.

“There are also a lot of on-demand apps that are available at a low cost or discounted rate for healthcare workers,” she adds. Download one and you have access to a mental health professional anytime—and from anywhere—that you need them.

Don’t forget to ask your friends for recommendations. One of them might be seeing a therapist that they’re happy with and would be glad to give you their name.

You may even find support in a social media group. “I belong to social support groups on Facebook, and it’s been life-changing,” says Dr. Sage. Before joining a group, consider whether you have to answer questions to gain entry. If so, this is a sign that it may be moderated, which can lead to more respectful responses. Also, think about whether the comments on the page align with your beliefs. If they don’t, look for another group instead.

“There are a lot of times when we experience higher levels of stress because we care, because we want to do good, because we want people to be well,” says Dr. Sage. But there is one thing she wants you to remember: “You deserve just as much compassion as you give to your patients and their families. You’re supposed to care about yourself first.” Finding ways to relieve your stress can be a good first step in this process.


Christina M. DeBusk is a freelance writer who uses her passion for health and wellness to help healthcare businesses and professionals better reach their target audience.


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.

Using Medical Technology To Make a Difference in Patient Health Outcomes

Medical professionals are often highly significant individuals whose careers greatly influence their patients’ quality of life.Their combination of education, experience, and skills also makes these  workers invaluable contributors to public health. This is the case whether they are doctors, nursing staff, or administrative professionals.

Yet, professionals’ efficacy is often dependent on being provided with the resources they need. At the moment, we’re seeing some significant advances in medical technology that support the knowledge and skills of healthcare staff. This can be as simple as efficient medical record-sharing platforms to more complex automated systems. How these tools are used can influence patients’ physical, mental, and emotional experiences.

Virtual Reality Training

Professional knowledge and skills are key to boosting the potential for positive patient outcomes. When professionals receive a practical and thorough education in their fields of expertise, patients tend to receive the care and effective treatment they need. One of the most important emerging tools for training medical staff is virtual reality (VR).

VR is playing an important role by simulating medical scenarios in a safe, repeatable, and relatively affordable manner. Students and professionals don’t need to practice new skills directly on patients in the first instance. Rather, they can be introduced to difficult situations and the tools needed to apply techniques and knowledge without putting anyone’s health at risk. This allows trainees to build confidence before transferring to real-life experiences. Not to mention that the software can be programmed to offer varied challenging scenarios to broaden the learner’s knowledge.

It’s also worth considering how these learning experiences can be more effective with an agile technological approach. Extended reality (XR) courses combine VR with augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) techniques. This enables medical professionals to not just practice in virtual realms, but also bolster their learning by interacting with physical objects and in clinical environments. This means that the medical technology they use is enhanced by tangible real-world experiences.

Remote Guidance and Telehealth

The use of remote medical technology has increased in recent years. It’s important for healthcare providers to continue exploring ways remote tech and teaching methods can have a positive influence on care.

For instance,  medical professionals can use telehealth and remote devices to improve patient education. This can include providing patients with access to smartphone applications they can use to monitor their wellness. There is a growing range of wearable tech that enables patients to gather, analyze, and share data on their specific conditions, too. These tools, combined with telehealth appointments with physicians, can help patients feel empowered to manage their well-being and be active participants in their care. This more engaged approach may positively impact a patient’s overall experience.

In addition, remote training courses can be important for medical staff themselves . While live seminars are important,  there are also medical e-Learning platforms that enable professionals to update their knowledge from wherever they are. This often involves a combination of video lectures or demonstrations and text readings, followed by online examinations. This can mean there is less need for professionals to travel for their training, resulting in potentially less disruption for patients. Not to mention that care standards will benefit from the most up-to-date information.

Artificial Intelligence Platforms

Artificial intelligence (AI) is swiftly becoming a familiar feature in many people’s lives. This includes the growing number of AI medical platforms. When professionals understand what role AI can play in various aspects of patient diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, it can be a powerful tool for better care outcomes.

At its core, AI in medicine involves software using machine learning to analyze patient data to provide insights to medical professionals. While this is certainly present in treatment research fields, AI is perhaps most prevalent at the moment as a tool for accurate and efficient diagnoses. When these platforms have access to high-quality data from a diverse range of patients, they can analyze the vital signs of individuals to alert doctors about risk factors that suggest specific conditions.

This may be particularly powerful when applied to difficult-to-diagnose conditions. For instance, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often go undiagnosed because symptoms aren’t immediately obvious. Indeed, the signs — such as headaches and fatigue — can be nuanced, subtle, and even challenging to spot on current imaging technology. AI diagnosis tools may be able to analyze data on vital signs, imaging results, and wider industry data to detect the potential subtle indicators of a TBI diagnosis. The sooner diagnosis can occur, the more positive the patient’s outcome is likely to be.

Conclusion

There is an increasing number of medical technologies that can make a difference in patients’ health outcomes. This includes VR tools that support safe and effective medical training and remote telehealth tech for distanced health education for both professionals and patients. AI is also continuing its emergence in diagnostic tasks.

That said, it’s important to note that this just touches the surface of the tech that can boost patient outcomes. Professionals should take the time to explore just how rich the tech health landscape is, including 3D printing for prosthetics and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) for gene editing.

Clinicians should talk to patients about the possibilities and wherever possible get involved with clinical trials. There are so many exciting opportunities to improve care. By learning about these tools now or even influencing their applications in clinical settings, professionals continue playing a vital role in boosting patients’ quality of life.


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.

5 Steps to Become a Medical Director

A medical director is a physician who provides oversight for a clinical program or department within a healthcare organization. As a medical director, you will be responsible for ensuring that the quality of care provided meets or exceeds expectations and complies with all regulatory requirements. If you are interested in becoming a medical director, follow these five steps.

 

Earn Your MD or DO Degree

The first step to becoming a medical director is to earn your medical degree from an accredited institution. You will need to complete four years of undergraduate coursework followed by four years of medical school. Once you have earned your degree, you will need to obtain a license to practice medicine in your state.

Complete Your Residency Training

After you have obtained your medical degree and license, you will need to complete a residency training program. Residency training programs last for three to seven years, depending on your specialty. During your residency, you will receive hands-on training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

 

Obtain Board Certification

Once you have completed your residency training, you will need to obtain board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). To be eligible for board certification, you must pass an examination that tests your knowledge and skills in your chosen specialty. Once you have passed the examination, you will be considered board-certified in your specialty.

 

Join a Professional Organization

After you have obtained your medical degree, completed your residency training, and become board-certified, you should consider joining a professional organization such as the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American College of Physicians (ACP). These organizations offer many benefits such as networking opportunities, educational resources, and advocacy on behalf of physicians.

 

Apply for Medical Director Positions

Once you have completed all of the previous steps, you can begin applying for medical director positions at healthcare organizations. To increase your chances of being hired, it is important to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position and highlight any relevant experience or skills that you possess. Additionally, networking with individuals who work at the healthcare organization where you would like to work can also help increase your chances of being hired for the position.

 

If you are interested in becoming a medical director, follow these five steps: earn your MD or DO degree from an accredited institution, complete a residency training program, obtain board certification, join a professional organization, and apply for medical director positions at healthcare organizations. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming a medical director!


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

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.

4 Benefits of Engaging a Medical Director for Your Practice

A medical director provides an invaluable service for any practice. Their experience and knowledge can help guide you through tough decisions, provide direction for your team, and even improve the quality of care your patients receive. Here are just a few benefits of engaging a medical director as part of your practice.

Improved Patient Care

A medical director will help ensure that all physicians provide the highest quality care to their patients. They can provide valuable insights into what is working well and what could be improved upon to ensure patient satisfaction. They can also advocate for patient safety, ensuring all protocols and procedures are being followed properly to minimize the risk of errors or complications.

Enhanced Team Communication

Having a medical director on staff can help foster better communication between different departments within the practice. They can act as a liaison between physicians, nurses, and other staff members to create a more cohesive environment where everyone works together towards the same goal—providing the best possible patient care. The presence of a medical director will also help reduce potential conflicts by creating more clarity when it comes to decision-making processes within the practice.

Increased Efficiency

A medical director should be knowledgeable in all aspects of running a successful healthcare facility, from financial management to compliance with industry regulations. Their expertise in these areas allows them to identify any inefficient processes within the practice so they can be streamlined or improved upon for maximum efficiency levels across the board. This increased efficiency translates into better patient care and cost savings for patients and providers.

Increased Profitability

The presence of a competent medical director in your practice has been proven to lead to increased profitability over time due to their ability to manage costs effectively while still maintaining high standards of quality care for patients. Their experience in managing finances combined with their knowledge of industry regulations means they can make informed decisions about how best to allocate resources for your practice to run more profitably over time.

When it comes down to it, having an experienced and knowledgeable medical director on staff at your practice is an invaluable asset that cannot be overlooked or underestimated. From improving patient care, enhancing team communication, increasing efficiency, and ultimately boosting profitability—engaging a medical director should be considered essential, if you want your healthcare facility to run efficiently and effectively over time. If you’re considering engaging one, don’t hesitate; it will be worth it in the long run!

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/people/Rachelle-Wilber/100009221637700/


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 to Know Before Switching to a Telehealth Career

Telehealth has seen consistent growth in popularity over the last few years. But, the biggest “boom” came during the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, it was out of necessity as medical professionals worked to keep patients safe and protected. However, even as we enter a post-pandemic world, telehealth trends continue to go up.

Telehealth benefits both patients and physicians. It offers flexibility, greater inclusivity, and can encourage more people to practice preventative healthcare when they know they can chat with their doctor from the comfort of home.

If you’re considering a career in telehealth, now is a great time to get on board. However, it’s important to know what to expect, and how you can prepare yourself before you decide if it’s the right career move for you.

Consider What You Want

A career in telehealth can be rewarding. Depending on your position, you might interact directly with patients, offering medical advice and preventative care options that can improve their well-being or help them manage the symptoms of an illness. If you have a passion for helping people and want to do something truly meaningful, it’s a fantastic way to find fulfillment.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. It’s not always the same having to help someone virtually, rather than face-to-face. You’ll also have to deal with people from all walks of life, and not every patient will be pleasant. Some will have conditions that are difficult to handle. Others might be frustrated by the very technology they’re using to talk to you. So, while a career in telehealth can be convenient, really consider what you want before you take the plunge. Think about things like:

      • Your comfort level in working with people virtually
      • How much time you can devote to this career
      • How well you handle stressful situations

Once you’ve decided that you think this career choice would be a good fit for you, it’s time to determine what you need to actually make it happen. If you’re currently in the healthcare field, it might be easy to transfer your education

Do You Meet the Qualifications?

Maybe you’re totally new to the telehealth field but you have the desire to help people. You don’t need to be a doctor or specialist to work in telehealth. However, depending on your position, you might need to meet certain qualifications. That includes certifications and licenses, in some cases.

For example, if you’re a nurse, you’ll have to receive appropriate licensing through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Because telehealth services are in such high demand, you shouldn’t have a problem getting your licensure quickly so you can start helping people as soon as possible.

If you’re a doctor, or specialist, or work for a clinic that provides telehealth services, make sure your certifications are up-to-date, and familiarize yourself with the latest in telemedicine software. There are multiple platforms and options available, so educating yourself on how to utilize technology safely and effectively is essential for any type of telehealth career.

Some practices and clinics might eventually switch to mostly telehealth services, so you might be able to get your foot in the door as an administrator and help people make virtual appointments or assist with billing. Having experience as an administrator can make that transition easier for you. You’ll also need to brush up on skills like:

      • Patience
      • Empathy
      • Time management
      • Organization
      • Flexibility

If you truly want to determine what’s needed to start your career with the right qualifications, check the requirements in your state. They vary by location, and you could be closer to getting started than you might think!

The Ins and Outs of a Virtual Career

One of the most important things to consider if you want to switch to a telehealth career is whether virtual/remote work is a good fit for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to think about. While virtual work can offer more flexibility, it can also take a toll on your mental health if you’re not getting the social interaction you need.

Humans are social creatures. We need face-to-face interaction. If your work solely relies on a virtual environment, you might struggle with isolation and loneliness. You might even feel uninspired, unmotivated, and burnt out.

While mental health stigmas in the healthcare field are starting to crumble, be sure you’re comfortable prioritizing your own mental well-being, and even talking to a professional if you’re worried that you might struggle with this type of career. Practice self-care each day by exercising, eating healthy meals, and getting as much in-person interaction with people as possible.

Telehealth is the future. While it can’t completely replace all types of medical care, it will certainly change the face of medicine and how people approach preventative care for years to come. If you’re interested in making a career change to enjoy the benefits of telemedicine, use the information here to consider whether it’s the right move, and whether you’ll find happiness and fulfillment. If so, don’t hesitate to start moving forward with your new career right away. The need for workers is extremely high, and you could end up landing the job of your dreams quickly.


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 Can We Improve Healthcare in Underserved Communities?

Today’s healthcare landscape is vast and complex. Within it exists nearly infinite sub-environments and social contexts, all of which present unique strengths, weaknesses, and difficulties. However, one sweeping reality that affects countless people within the system is a common tendency towards inequitable care provision for certain communities and demographics over others.

The disproportionalities in healthcare provision experienced by specific subpopulations and underserved communities is a story that repeats itself over and over across the country (and around the world). This is a matter of deep concern for equity advocates in healthcare, and there are a number of voices within the healthcare landscape working towards changing this reality.

Current Disparities in Healthcare Access

One helpful lens for understanding healthcare disparities at scale is a set of statistics that reveal the average difference in care delivery and outcomes by demographic. These include social differentiators like income level, race, legal status, gender identity, disability, and religion.

Across a range of metrics, certain communities, like those that earn middle-class incomes or are white/Caucasian, receive (on average) better levels of care and enjoy easier access to healthcare providers than individuals within the same communities and geographic locations that fall into other demographic categories.

There are a number of ways these disparities play out in various settings or instances. A few trends in particular represent a large percentage of healthcare inequity cases across the country. These include the following:

Difficulties in Securing Health Insurance for Noncitizens

Because the American healthcare system is so tightly tied to the insurance industry, it is vastly difficult to obtain any kind of healthcare without some form of health insurance. Unfortunately, insurance is very difficult to secure for a number of demographics, including those with complicated legal statuses or those that don’t work or have permanent addresses.

Racist Policies, Sentiments, and Biases Within the Healthcare System

This is a hugely complex topic and involves deeply systemic and cultural influences. The result, however, is a serially prejudiced system that, on average, is more likely to provide subpar care and treatment to people of color than it is to white people.

Healthcare Professionals, Especially in Places of Leadership, Remain Disproportionately white, Cisgendered, and Male

Though this has long been an area of focus and attempted awareness within the professional healthcare community, it still remains disproportionately monotone. Numbers of ethnic minorities (and other minority groups) working in healthcare fields remain stubbornly low.

This perpetuates difficulties that many patients experience when receiving care from someone who does not look like them and does not fully understand their culture, experience, community, or context.

Current Initiatives that are Working to Equalize Access to Good Healthcare

Above are just some of the ways that the healthcare system is still operating to disproportionately help certain members of society more than others. But though the system is still fraught with these widespread inequalities and problems, strides are being taken towards balancing the healthcare system at large and changing some of these realities so that more people have adequate access to the healthcare they need.

Changing Legislation to Correct Implicitly Biased or Prejudiced Policies

Systemic manifestations of discrimination and racism are often baked into legislative policy. The process of assessing current legislation and reshaping it to be more equal and equitable is a long, painstaking process. However, it can be a source of deep and significant institutional change.

Design Initiatives to Encourage More Members of Minority Groups to Study Medicine

These might look like demographic-specific scholarships, programs, or job fairs; or curriculums implemented in high-minority primary and secondary education spaces. Encouraging minority groups to consider healthcare a viable career option can have ripple effects on not only current but future generations and create precedent for more individuals to choose to enter the healthcare workforce as well.

Prioritizing Public Health Campaigns that Equip and Empower Minority Demographics to Partake in Healthy Living

Statistics reveal strong disparities in health IQ and healthy living habits between, for example, white/caucasian populations and ethnic minority populations. The work of providing diverse cultural contexts and backgrounds with health information made pertinent and relevant to them is slowly gaining traction and needs to be increased.

Ways to Contribute Personally Towards Stronger Equity in Healthcare

If you are a healthcare professional and want to make a difference in bringing about better, more equitable healthcare provision for all communities, here are a few ways you can get involved in this process.

Educate Yourself on the Nuances of Providing Healthcare to Those of Different Cultures, Identities, and Ethnicities

Whether you yourself belong to a minority identity or not, everyone has room to learn and grow when it comes to becoming more culturally knowledgeable and equipped. Terms like “transcultural nursing” and “cultural sensitivity” help shape this concept into actionable knowledge areas.

Seeking out conferences, talks, reading materials, and training on these topics can help you better understand, identify with, empathize with, and respect people with different cultural or ethnic backgrounds than your own.

Advocate for Equitable Policies, Awareness, and Conduct Within Your Own Healthcare Facility

Whether you work for an independent local hospital, a large nationwide healthcare provider, or a small outpatient clinic, your healthcare environment may or may not have an adequate understanding of equitable practices and policies.

Speaking up for underserved communities and supporting implementation of better equity practices can help change the nature of your healthcare facility as well as educate your colleagues and fellow professionals about the importance of healthcare equity.

Find Opportunities to Volunteer Your Healthcare Expertise to Support Underserved Communities in Your Area

Especially in locations where disparities are large and certain demographics or populations have poor access to healthcare, find opportunities to volunteer with nonprofit organizations or other initiatives to meet the healthcare needs of communities that have the most difficulty accessing treatment. This can be a significant and often life-altering way of lessening healthcare inequality.


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.