It’s always said that the healthcare professional is usually in a state of crisis. Often, the reason is a lack of nursing staff, which is the same reason that has been bandied about for decades. However, with the advent of so many baby boomers getting to pensionable age over the next fifteen years, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities will come under greater strains than ever before.
It is in times like these that organizations must develop and rely on their leaders, from the nursing leaders to the doctors and the administrators, along with statistical support roles, which will all become vital.
Leadership Never More Important Than Now
There is a progressive change in the nursing field, with a far greater percentage of staff choosing to further educate themselves with a masters or doctorate degree to advance their careers in healthcare. Many advanced degrees now include leadership modules to better prepare staff to handle the later workforce that will be necessary to deal with the patient numbers expected in the near future.
One case in point is the online health informatics degree, which is an online MSHI program that teaches students how to work with different types of patient information, manage IT infrastructure and breaches, enable the provision of patient data files to doctors and nurses, and have disaster recovery plans in place. This is a thoroughly modern educational program, studied entirely online in your own time, that allows key personnel to advance in information technology and leadership roles successfully.
Attracting Nurses into the Profession Seen as Vital
The most experienced nursing staff began in the field thirty years ago and are themselves often within the baby boomer generation and due for retirement soon. With this gradual loss of personnel and experience gained over decades of on-the-ward days and nights, the healthcare professional faces a crossroads.
The need for professional, career-minded nursing staff is ever present. The leaders within the profession will be required to play a leading role in attracting potential top talent into healthcare, instead of other professionals where the need for qualified people is less acute. Simply put, failure is not an option here because without enough experienced nursing staff in the coming years, wards will be understaffed, and some will have to close because they are unable to provide the minimum standard of care necessary.
Embracing New Technologies
Rather than shy away from new ways of thinking and innovative developments, one of the advantages of working in healthcare is the continual changes that take place. Medicine never stands still, even for a few months. There’s always a new medicine that does more than the previous standard one, which is more effective and has fewer bad side effects.
With technology, departments tend to embrace new medical equipment, the use of tablets and easier access to patient information at the tap of a tablet screen. Patient privacy can be maintained while being able to access their full medical history to improve on diagnosis and outcome while limiting the human errors.
When doctor’s discovered that simple errors were being made with operations, checklists were developed to systematically double-check and move through the correct procedure one step at a time. Doing so, while seeming pedantic at the time, preventing casual mistakes from happening from the wrong anesthetic being ordered for an operation to check that all medical implements were accounted for and none were inadvertently left inside the patient due to carelessness. Similarly, with improved leadership and the empowerment of less senior staff to improve on current procedures to prevent errors and improve patient care, the healthcare profession is poised to handle the greater patient numbers expected in the coming years.