5 Methods For Overcoming Healthcare Worker Shortages

Healthcare Worker Shortage
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    According to a recent report from the WHO, we could experience a shortage of up to 9.9 million physicians, nurses, and midwives globally by 2030. Current healthcare workers are expected to learn quickly, collaborate, and communicate even in the most stressful situations, but how can we help them work through the burnout? Innovative training and recruitment methods might be the answer. This article will walk you through the healthcare staff shortage dilemma, how hospitals are adapting, and which kinds of training and recruitment methods can help the present and future of healthcare. 

    The Staffing Shortage Dilemma For Healthcare Workers

    The Staffing Shortage Dilemma: The pandemic has been a rollercoaster for everyone on both a professional and personal level, and healthcare workers are no exception. Pandemic-related staff shortages have forced hospitals to rethink how healthcare workers are deployed, how they are trained, and what kinds of teams work best for different hospital units. 

    • CEOs and CFOs of America’s top health systems recently gathered at the 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference and named staffing shortages as their top concern.
    • This issue is especially severe due to the high-pressure demands and burnout rates associated with being on the hospital frontlines. 

    So how can we improve healthcare worker retention rates and train medical staff quickly and efficiently? Read on to discover the top five ways that we can combat staffing shortages in the healthcare industry. 

    Investing In The Current Healthcare Workforce 

    #1: Invest In Current Workforce: One of the top ways to prevent employee turnover is to invest more time, effort, and money into current employees. Florida-based healthcare system AdventHealth has taken this strategy to heart and invested more than $440 million in additional compensation for healthcare workers.

    • Investments don’t have to revolve solely around increased salaries. Intermountain Healthcare, for example, partnered with an educational platform inStride to offer better training services and workflow tools to caregivers and their families.
    • Training tools can help combat administrative, budgeting, and planning burdens that slow down medical staff and impede their productivity. 

    #2: Focusing On Education: Helping aspiring healthcare workers can help prevent staffing shortages later down the line. South Carolina-based Prisma Health has recently partnered with local universities to accelerate training programs, make education accessible, and help medical students with tuition. This method addresses the staffing shortage problem at its root and can help inspire more young people to pursue a career in healthcare work.

    #3. Recruiting Internationally: In our increasingly globalized world, it only makes sense that healthcare institutions take an international approach to recruitment. Since the 1980s,  Henry Ford Health in Michigan teamed up with healthcare workers in both Canada and the Philippines to develop international relationships and establish long-term recruiting pipelines.  

    Healthcare Institutions Championing Flexibility

    #4. Embracing Flexibility: The popularity of remote and hybrid work has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic and hospitals are embracing this trend to combat staff shortages.  Providing healthcare workers with more flexibility can help improve overall workplace morale and accommodate workers from across the country. National healthcare system Ascension currently has 40,000 remote healthcare workers and plans on incorporating this strategy permanently.

    #5. Going Virtual: Virtual platforms play an essential role in making the most of limited staff and educating future healthcare workers. Simulation labs, virtual reality, and even video games give current and future healthcare workers the flexibility they need to learn at their pace, work in a remote area, and build upon skills they might not have had access to otherwise. 

    • Virtual strategies extend to patient care as well. The CDC encourages hospitals to embrace telehealth for non-essential procedures and visits to reduce the strain on hospital staff and frontline workers. 

    Virtual communication can also help staff and administration teams stay connected and prevent confusion regarding timeslots, staff availability, and workplace responsibilities. Investing in virtual information systems will save healthcare workers the trouble of searching for medications, hunting down equipment, and filling out redundant paperwork.

    Healthcare Workers And Our Future

    The past few years have shown the undeniable importance of healthcare workers. While health systems are taking steps to train and recruit their staff in creative ways, the battle isn’t over. What kinds of learning methods should be made accessible to healthcare workers, and do you think they will make a difference in the labor shortage crisis? Share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us here at WeLearn, because together, we learn.

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