With every industry undergoing rapid changes in the last decade, it doesn’t come as a surprise that upskilling has become necessary. The U.S. healthcare industry, like other healthcare industries across the world, is still reeling from the 2020 crisis. On top of that, the shortage of competent healthcare workers is also a cause of concern.
As a healthcare worker, upskilling is pivotal to your career. It’s one of the most fundamental constituents of this industry. That’s because there are constant advancements, technological developments, research discoveries, and other breakthroughs in the industry, and the needs and expectations of patients are shifting. To thrive in this dynamic environment, you must embrace a lifelong learning mindset and enhance your skills and knowledge.
Below, we’ll discuss the top six reasons to upskill and reskill as a healthcare professional. So, let’s dive in:
1. High-Quality Patient Care
As a healthcare professional, upholding the highest quality of patient care is integral to your routine job responsibilities. Patients belonging to various age groups, backgrounds, and varying health complications entrust you with their lives; one wrong decision could lead to fatal consequences.
Offering optimal care, reducing medical errors, and building a robust patient-practitioner relationship necessitates sharpening your clinical and soft skills. You can only do this if you have information about all the advancements and emerging trends in the industry. For this reason, healthcare professionals must upskill by pursuing certifications, advanced degree programs, and workshops to offer their patients the highest quality care.
Among all healthcare professionals, it’s crucial for nurses to consider higher education to upskill and reskill themselves. Fortunately, nurses belonging to any domain can now enroll in online programs and quickly hone the skills they need to excel in their careers. So, for instance, if you’re a nurse, you can pursue a 12 month FNP program online to enhance your skills and knowledge and provide quality care to patients of all ages.
Apart from this, AACN shared that having highly educated nurses results in the following outcomes for healthcare organizations:
- Improved patient outcomes
- Lesser admission rates
- Lesser mortality rates
- Higher health equality
Moreover, upskilling would help healthcare providers quickly adapt to technological advancements in the industry and employ them in patient care. High-quality patient care would also ultimately translate to a better reputation in the industry.
2. Cost Effective
Upskilling and reskilling employees is a cost-effective alternative to hiring new staff and training them from scratch. Many industry professionals vouch for this and encourage investing in the current workforce rather than hiring new employees. An existing employee is familiar with the workplace culture, workflows, treatment plans and protocols, and patients. New talent would need to be taught everything from logging into the intra-net to dealing with patients, costing precious time and money.
Healthcare organizations can reduce recruitment expenditure by strategically training current employees to upskill and reskill to adapt to new job responsibilities. Since they’re already familiar with the daily operations, it saves resources on recruitment and onboarding costs.
Upskilling and reskilling employees results in:
- Increased productivity
- Employees feel empowered and more driven to give it their all
- Boosts the healthcare organization’s overall efficiency and effectiveness
- Enables facilities to deliver high-quality patient care and achieve positive outcomes even in times of emergency.
3. Boosts Employee Retention
Upskilling and reskilling programs not only enhance employees’ skills, knowledge, and abilities, but they also contribute to better employee retention rates. When organizations spend significant resources to train and develop their workforce, they foster employee loyalty and commitment. As a result, employees are likelier to stay with the organization even if they find higher compensation and benefits elsewhere.
Many healthcare workers prefer upskilling opportunities over higher salaries because it adds to their career portfolio. The Gallop report states that 65% of healthcare workers express that upskilling opportunities are essential when evaluating a potential job, and 48% of healthcare workers say they would leave their current position for an employer offering training and experience simultaneously.
Upskilling opportunities also indirectly improve the workplace culture, instilling a growth mindset among employees. Moreover, these opportunities indicate the healthcare organization’s commitment to their employees’ long-term success. And this helps retain them and cultivates a healthy workplace environment.
4. Dealing With Patient Diversity
Patient diversity has become more common in today’s healthcare sector, posing specific problems for healthcare providers. More than medical knowledge, cultural and ethical sensitivity is crucial to offer effective medical treatment to people from various cultural, religious, economic, and social backgrounds. Each patient requires a personalized approach that considers their needs and circumstances for effective treatment and improved patient outcomes.
To fulfill this demand, healthcare workers are upskilling and obtaining specialized training to address healthcare diversity and inclusion and tackle health inequity. Doctors and nurses, for example, can further their education to specialize in areas such as newborn care or midwifery, allowing them to deliver tailored and culturally sensitive treatment to specific demographics.
5. Reduces Skill Gap
The skill gap between healthcare professionals is widening. People who graduated a couple of years apart have a vast skill gap making it necessary for healthcare organizations to provide training for specific domains to meet the evolving industry needs.
This skill gap can be observed in both the soft and hard skill components of their jobs. While hard skills are the foundation of this profession, soft skills like empathy, critical thinking, and respect are just as important and often overlooked. To bridge this gap, healthcare institutions must prioritize the development of these soft skills among their employees.
Moreover, upskilling opportunities can reduce social inequalities in the organization.
Healthcare professionals may future-proof their professions by actively participating in continuous learning. Upskilling provides them with the most up-to-date knowledge, skills, and practices for embracing innovation and remaining at the forefront of their fields. It enables them to take on new positions, broaden their skills, and confidently face new difficulties.
Moreover, upskilling and reskilling initiatives undertaken by healthcare organizations boost the efficiency of the overall medical sector. Professionals who hone new skills and gain advanced knowledge bring novel ideas, views, and innovative solutions. It promotes a continuous improvement culture and moves the industry forward, benefiting healthcare organizations and their stakeholders.
Upskilling and reskilling are essential to stay relevant in the healthcare industry today. Such workforce development programs enable healthcare organizations to provide high-quality patient care, boost retention rates, reduce skill gaps, and deal with patient diversity. It reduces the overall cost of staying current and technologically advanced.
In this industry, embracing lifelong learning is essential to staying competitive and making a positive impact on the lives of others.
Umar Nisar was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Umar Nisar has contributed to many online publications including PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Umar Nisar earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Umar Nisar follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.