As an industry upon which we’re all reliant, the healthcare sector is never out of the spotlight. In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone an even brighter light on healthcare in the U.S. As the country continues to deal with the ongoing coronavirus crisis, many are already wondering what impact the pandemic will have on the future look of healthcare.
Of course, COVID-19 isn’t the only factor in the evolution of healthcare. As an industry, the healthcare sector is changing at a rapid pace. While there are sure to be numerous changes to the way we deliver and receive medical care, the future look of healthcare sector looks set to incorporate the following.
1. Growing Workforce
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare workforce is set to grow by 15% between 2019-2029, equating to an extra 2.4 million job roles. In fact, healthcare is likely to be the largest growing industry in this timeframe, with healthcare roles accounting for six out of the ten fastest growing occupations.
With more people joining the workforce, the growing healthcare industry is good news for patients and practitioners alike. When people are able to access healthcare services more easily, it can lead to reduced diagnosis times, better preventative health and swifter treatments. From a healthcare professional’s perspective, the projected growth signifies a wealth of job opportunities and faster career progression.
2. Virtual Appointments
While COVID-19 continues to present a risk, close contact with people outside your household is strongly discouraged. Although people should still access the medical assistance they require, minimizing unnecessary contact in high-risk environments is essential.
Fortunately, technology is giving us new ways to access medical advice. An increasing number of healthcare providers are now offering virtual appointments, either instead of or prior to a face-to-face consultation. In many instances, patients can be triaged virtually in order to determine whether further treatment is required or whether they can care for themselves at home.
While there are times when a face-to-face appointment is necessary, the convenience of virtual consultations cannot be overlooked. Indeed, many patients have welcomed the change and are eager for online appointments to continue once the pandemic is over.
It’s likely, therefore, that the future look of healthcare industry will include some form of virtual communication between patients and their healthcare providers. Whether it’s a video consultation with a therapist or a virtual appointment with a primary care physician, giving patients additional ways to seek help via ‘Telehealth’ can only be beneficial.
3. Digital Technology
Unsurprisingly, technology is set to feature prominently as the healthcare industry evolves. As well as facilitating virtual consultations, new technological advancements are set to revolutionize medical diagnoses and treatments.
Virtual reality is already being used to train the next generation of surgeons, for example, while wearable health trackers are putting patients in control of managing their well-being. In addition to this, a new era of personalized medication and treatments is set to dawn. By using artificial intelligence to predict a person’s healthcare risks and their response to treatments, medical professionals can generate unique healthcare services for individuals.
4. Consumer-Focused Leadership
Healthcare is big business, particularly in the U.S., and consumers are beginning to gain greater control of the industry. Patients choose their own healthcare providers based on numerous factors, such as patient outcomes, cost, convenience and treatment availability. As consumers become more discerning, healthcare facilities are having to work hard to maintain their share of the market.
In response to demand from consumers, healthcare companies are tailoring their approaches to patient feedback. As a result, healthcare providers are switching to more value-based, customer-oriented strategies. For patients who want to have greater control over their health, this approach is a welcome change. As healthcare providers battle to compete against one another, the need to deliver enhanced care, wider treatment ranges, and more cost-effective healthcare services will benefit patients in a variety of different ways.
Help Shape the future look of healthcare.
As you can see, the future look of healthcare sector is an exciting place to be. With unrivalled industry growth, up and coming healthcare professionals can be confident of job security. Furthermore, the option to enhance your career with further qualifications only serves to highlight the rewards that a career in healthcare offers.
While you might begin your career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), certified nursing assistant (CNA) or as a registered nurse, enrolling in further courses, such as flexible online pediatric nurse practitioner programs, acute care programs or leadership courses, gives you the opportunity to further your career prospects.
With so many exciting developments on the horizon, it’s not surprising that so many people are eager to begin a career in the healthcare industry. Whether you’re destined to become a nurse, a researcher or an organizational leader, there are plenty of roles to consider.
What Does a Career in Healthcare Offer?
A career in healthcare allows you to put your skills to excellent use as you ensure that patients get access to the diagnostics, care, treatment and support they need at every stage of their life. From a practical perspective, the projected growth and the ability to work all over the country means that you’ll have an enviable number of options when it comes to choosing where to live and work. Furthermore, qualifying into a healthcare role gives you the choice to specialize in a particular area of medicine or to work with a specific demographic, such as children or seniors.
Another aspect to consider when determining whether a career in healthcare is right for you is the fast-paced nature of your future workplace. As you care for numerous patients and deliver a wide range of treatments, you will always have the opportunity to learn new things and enhance your skillset.
While the practical benefits of working in healthcare, such as career progression and high salaries are certainly motivating, the vast majority of healthcare professionals love their jobs because they’re in a position to help people. By joining the industry, you too will be able to hone your skills and use your talents to have a life-changing impact on your patients.