The public health department intends to create a better environment for people. The opportunities in this sector are steadily increasing, and a growth of 16 percent is expected by 2030.
The public health sector is also witnessing rapid changes with innovative technologies and the digitalization of the healthcare sector.
The changes in this profession have been radical, and the recent pandemic has brought about many challenges and opportunities for healthcare practitioners.
Following are some of the challenges and opportunities professionals face due to the changes in healthcare.
Need for qualified staff
It has been by far the biggest challenge that healthcare professionals face. Healthcare practitioners need higher education and skills to treat patients with complicated diseases. Similar is the predicament of healthcare administrators who are being introduced to the state of the art healthcare management systems and modules. All these technology-induced changes require them to return to school and update their current level of education.
Most healthcare practitioners plan to continue their work alongside studies. But, taking out time to prepare for admission tests for Master’s programs is often a hurdle. Many institutions have responded to this issue by waving off admission test requirements for many public health programs.
As a result, masters in public health online no GRE programs are becoming extremely famous among professionals wanting to continue their education. Higher education enables aspiring, change-oriented, and resourceful healthcare professionals to be change agents.
The right educational qualification can equip them to improve public health in their communities. More professionals enrolling in higher education programs can also address the shortage of qualified healthcare professionals.
The pandemic and the current upsurge in the aging population have increased the workload of the current healthcare professionals. The shortage of healthcare professionals is linked to this problem, and many employees have to work overtime to make up for the shortage. The situation is bleaker in public hospitals, where, unlike private hospitals, practitioners are not provided with a day off. This undue pressure and workload cause burnout in healthcare workers.
Burnout is exhaustion of emotions, a sense of low personal accomplishment, and depersonalization. Burnout can seriously impact the employees’ productivity and increase the rate of medical errors. According to a study by WHO, more than 55 hours of workload in a week can cause serious health issues like heart disease. However, the nature and urgency of work in healthcare make it very challenging to reevaluate work hours.
This problem is not limited to a certain location or a specific hospital; instead, the healthcare sector faces this issue globally. These chaotic work hours and long shifts are expected to create an imbalance in the lives of these professionals leading to far bigger social problems such as strained spousal relationships and neglected children.
Preparation for pandemic
The pandemic surprised the healthcare sector and placed it in a difficult predicament. The initial response showed a lack of preparedness for an event of such magnitude. Professionals struggled with their responsibilities and had to work with a shortage of essential resources like PPEs and medicines. Since the onslaught of the pandemic, many different strands of COVID-19 have emerged in other countries. Hence, the preparedness of healthcare practitioners for managing such an event is worth a debate among professionals at higher echelons of healthcare.
Healthcare needs to invest in their workers and prepare them to fight the epidemics. This investment can also be a career advancement opportunity for enthusiasts wanting to excel in their careers.
Limited knowledge of technology
Technological literacy is essential for healthcare professionals as it assists in delivering actionable and more effective care to patients. However, many employees working in the healthcare sector have limited knowledge of life-altering technology. But learning about these technologies when they are already halfway through their career seems very challenging. When healthcare appears to be taken over by technological innovation, old employees struggle to keep up with the pace. Therefore, the rate of adoption is much slower.
Many healthcare professionals fear losing their jobs as more competent and tech-savvy professionals compete for these positions. Healthcare must invest in training programs to help them learn about using technological applications and work around complicated cloud-based systems and patient portals.
More job opportunities
The shortage of trained healthcare workers is causing problems for the current workers. But there is no shortage of job opportunities. There are more jobs than the number of qualified people ready to assume the positions.
The healthcare sector is set to attract competent employees ready for grueling work. Take the example of registered nurses. According to BLS, the job outlook for registered nurses is expected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030. There is an urgent need for qualified nurses to fill these positions. So, the earlier nurses upskill themselves, the more their chances to get one of these positions. As more people adopt a career, the current employees will have less burden on them.
Better pay offers and compensation plans
The hospitals and patient care clinics are rethinking their compensation plans, benefits, and reward systems to attract more qualified and competent employees. The better the salary, the more the chances for employers to retain competent healthcare practitioners. The salary of a registered nurse is $77,460, but as they move higher in their career to become a Nurse Practitioner, they can earn as much as $111,840 per year. It is the right time to enter healthcare as it is increasingly becoming one of the high-paying professions.
Healthcare is an intriguing combination of opportunities and challenges for professionals. Often a challenge is in itself an opportunity. For instance, overworked staff implies a need for more professionals. Jobs are available to accommodate new practitioners, provided they have the right skills. Finding the opportunity hidden under the veil of seemingly impenetrable challenges must be the approach of professionals wanting to excel in healthcare.