The choice to upskill in the healthcare industry is both a time and financial commitment. However, for those who want to advance in their career and provide patients with the best possible care, it is a no-brainer.
With the sheer speed of advancements in medical technology, treatment modalities, best practices in healthcare, and evolving policies, professionals in the healthcare field face constant change. Be it an individual choosing to undertake further training independently, or a company investing in staff learning, upskilling addresses the challenge of change by offering healthcare practitioners and administrators the opportunity to enhance their careers and ensure that patients receive the best possible up-to-date care.
How technology is constantly redefining healthcare access
Telehealth is one way that technology is changing the industry. It has been a very quick transformation that has enhanced the accessibility and efficiency of healthcare. Telehealth has been beneficial for those who live fast-paced city lifestyles where getting to a brick-and-mortar location is time-consuming, and perhaps even more beneficial for those in remote locations who do not have the option of a physical medical location. Telehealth has bridged the accessibility gap by giving healthcare access to anyone with an internet connection. Now, regardless of location, more people can see doctors and nurses for consultations and follow-ups, prescriptions, and referrals.
The above advancements have not only improved healthcare access but have also reduced the burden on in-person facilities. During the Covid-19 pandemic telehealth arguably helped to minimise the risk of transmission as so many people could consult with a doctor or nurse and still isolate from friends, family, and the community.
Telehealth is perhaps even fostering patient empowerment by encouraging patients to take a more proactive approach to their own health. Telehealth often provides patients with their health records and enables them to monitor their own condition.
Virtual medical care allows for remote monitoring of patients, mental health care appointments, and rehabilitation program access.
Why healthcare practitioners need to continually upskill
With these advancements for patients, it is important for healthcare professionals to continually acquire the skills needed to harness the potential of them and integrate them into the workplace. Health informatics, digital healthcare systems, communication best practices in remote consultations, and telemedicine are all areas that are rapidly evolving and healthcare workers who upskill will be well-placed to provide safe, high-quality patient care. Healthcare leadership training and the clinical governance course are both important areas to maintain up-to-date knowledge.
Investing in leadership training
Effective leadership in healthcare is not just for optics, it has a direct correlation with enhanced patient care and better outcomes. Well-equipped leaders have the knowledge and skill to efficiently guide teams, motivate staff, and create a culture of excellence and patient-centred care.
Beyond the all-important patient, there is an institutional benefit, as those with well-honed leadership capabilities can face challenges as they arise, and grab onto opportunities before they pass by. High-quality healthcare is in demand and strong and efficient leaders can help meet that demand not just in trying times, but in the day-to-day business operations such as allocating resources, meeting budgets and deadlines, managing change, meeting increasingly complex needs, providing more innovative and flexible models of care.
The changing demographics of healthcare
The Australian population is ageing and this is increasing the demand in a number of areas such as; managing chronic disease, geriatric care, and palliative care. This means that both patients and service providers benefit from staying up-to-date with evolving needs, and the new technology and best practices that are always emerging. The more meaningfully each healthcare professional can contribute, the better placed the entire healthcare ecosystem will be.
Continuous professional growth in healthcare
There are so many reasons why nurses and clinicians might want to pursue further qualifications in healthcare, some may be personal such as improving job satisfaction and personal growth, and others may be professional – more qualifications typically lead to greater responsibilities in the workplace. Let’s break down some of the most interesting reasons for undertaking further study.
Career advancement: Undertaking formal courses will lead to an advancing career. It can lead to increased responsibility and promotions, higher job titles, increased salary, and the satisfaction of meeting new challenges. By continually learning one also demonstrates commitment to their field.
New opportunities for leadership: Healthcare needs leaders. Increased responsibility, decision-making opportunities, planning, and management are all skills that can benefit one’s career, the workplace, outcomes for patients, and an overall sense of job satisfaction. For senior leadership roles, formal qualifications are generally required.
Patient-centred benefits: Upskilling in care-related roles has many benefits for patients. The more comprehensive the care they receive the better their outcomes are likely to be. Doctors, nurses, carers and pharmacists with advanced knowledge can contribute in an even more meaningful way to positive patient outcomes.
Job security: A professional who dedicates their time and energy to ongoing learning is appealing to any organisation that employs them. Someone who is engaged, motivated, and willing to continuously learn is an asset to any business.
Developing a network: Pursuing additional qualifications often involves engaging with a broader professional network. This network can provide support, mentorship, and collaborative opportunities, enriching the professional experience. Building strong connections within the healthcare community can open doors to new opportunities and facilitate knowledge exchange
How to choose the courses to best suit the desired outcomes
There are plenty of courses out there and many of them are very good. However, a good rule of thumb when choosing a course is to look for a reliable education provider. Some providers also offer accreditation programs for hospitals, which is testimony to their expertise in the field. For example, in Australia, there is a solid accreditation framework in the healthcare sector. These are in place to both maintain and improve the standard of healthcare in the country. An accreditation is an adherence to safety and quality standards, as approved by a governing body.