How Nurses Can Take an Extra Step to Keep up with Rapidly Changing Healthcare
Healthcare is the fastest growing industry in the United States – and most parts of the world – right now. Demand for good healthcare services is on the rise, which is why service providers are optimizing and expanding their operations at the same time. As a result, these service providers are constantly seeking new and qualified personnel to fill key roles.
It is an industry that changes rapidly too, forcing those who are working in this field to stay current and up to date. Updates are introduced frequently and the people working in this field must be able to understand and utilize those updates for the benefit of patients. Keeping up with the rapidly changing healthcare landscape is a challenge, but these tips and tricks will help you (and nurses everywhere) stay current.
Master Time Management
Since the first day you enter the field of nursing and healthcare in general, you know how important time management is. Nursing students are given trainings on how to organize their time better. These trainings are critical; if you are to excel in nursing, you have to know how to organize your time properly.
Learning to prioritize is the key. You cannot do everything; in fact, you don’t have to. You just need to focus on the priority tasks. You also have a strong team backing you up, so make sure you know how to delegate and divide the tasks you have in hand with fellow nurses in your team.
Another important thing to do if you want to keep up with the rapidly changing healthcare is staying organized. The moment you become disorganized is the moment you will fail in many of the tasks you have to handle.
Once again, the basic trainings you receive when studying to become a nurse come in handy in this situation. You already know how to multitask, how to keep track of everything, and how to stick to the plan – or the procedures – at all times. You only need to implement these things to stay organized.
You can’t be an effective healthcare worker without spending at least 5 hours every week for reading. There are plenty of news to follow, new books to read, and updates – including journals – from various sources. When a new imaging technology is introduced, for example, you must take the time to read the necessary details about the technology.
Reading helps prepare you for the challenges to come too. Using the previous example, you know how to work with the medical imaging technician in getting the best examination results. You also know how to process those results and be an effective source of information for doctors and physicians. Of course, doing these roles well will result in better patient care.
Go Back to School
Going back to school is a fantastic idea to consider too. Many nurses don’t really consider pursuing a higher degree or qualification due to time and financial constraints. Today, however, those constraints are not really issues to worry about.
Take a look at the Kaplan University nursing degrees – and the courses behind them – and you will notice that there are online programs you can take. Pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing – even a doctorate degree in nursing practice – is something you can do on your own time and with maximum flexibility.
To make it even better, online courses are up to 40% more affordable than the comparable offline programs. You still have the same financing options and a wealth of scholarships to utilize. Many healthcare institutions even support their nurses and provide financial (and non-financial) aids to encourage going back to school.
Take Short Courses
Speaking of online courses, there are also shorter online courses that help you master specific skills rather quickly. Sites such as Coursera may not be as comprehensive as the Kaplan University nursing degrees we talked about earlier, but they are filled with courses on time management, project management, communications, and other topics that relate well with your work as a nurse.
These courses are equally manageable too. When you choose to start a course, you are given a wizard – or a timetable – to follow. Go through each step at your own pace and acquire new skills almost immediately. Some of the premium sites even offer certifications; you can add the certificates to your CV just as easily.
The last – and most important – thing to keep in mind is balance. Despite the busy schedules and demanding work environment, nurses are still required to maintain a good balance in life. As soon as you lose that balance, you will be less effective; you’ll start making mistakes (unnecessary ones) and you will find staying focused more difficult to do.
Get enough rest, organize your time effectively, learn to rely on your team, and go back to school to pick up new skills and update yourself. These are all ways to stay current in the rapidly-changing landscape of the healthcare industry.