As the world changes, the healthcare industry must evolve to meet new needs and provide care. The increased demand for Healthcare Professionals is integral to the physical and economic health of every person in the U.S.
Demographic shifts, political party changes and technological advancements have helped shape our healthcare system for decades, and these things will continue to impact the future of healthcare.
Let’s look at five specific reasons that the U.S. needs healthcare professionals today.
1. An Aging Population Of Baby Boomers
Many baby boomers will rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid to provide post-retirement healthcare, which will strain existing healthcare resources. Adding to the strain, the average life expectancy continues to increase, which means the boomer generation is likely to live, and rely on such programs. The current life expectancy of 78.8 years is nearly double what it was a century ago. These increases in patients should be met with an increase in healthcare professionals to maintain efficient healthcare.
Because of this increased burden, Healthcare professionals will also be required to provide care, manage staff and manage the increased load on IT systems. These tasks call for professionals who specialize in finance, management, leadership and technology.
2. A Huge Bio-pharmaceutical Industry
With growing demand comes an increased need for professionals in this field. The bio-pharmaceutical sector creates jobs that offer high wages and require a workforce with diverse education and skills. In fact, employees in this sector earned an average salary of $123,108 in 2014.
Bio-pharmaceuticals is a large and growing part of the economy that could benefit from an increase in qualified healthcare professionals. This specialty is a good fit or a professional with a chemistry or biology background. Job titles include clinical research associate, molecular biology or genomics technician and environmental health and safety manager.
3. A Dynamic Political Motivated Economy
Of all the social, economic and technological factors that affect healthcare, politics is arguably the most influential driver of change.
The current political mood suggests major changes to the Affordable Care Act are likely now that a Republican president is in office. Any changes made to healthcare will be enforced in the coming years, and the industry must rely on capable and well-educated professionals to implement these changes.
Professionals looking to get involved in healthcare policy may consider careers such as public health researcher, healthcare policy analyst or health services manager. Healthcare policy jobs can be divided into the following three categories:
Healthcare settings careers: Healthcare policy jobs require ongoing education to ensure the institution is following proper protocol.
Healthcare consulting careers: Healthcare consulting firms provide the added benefit of being able to use advanced data and financial modeling that a private organization likely cannot access.
Government policy careers: Government policy careers offer the ability to affect policy before it is created and recommend changes that will promote individual and community health.
4. Growing Creative Competitiveness
Creativity and excitement for your work will largely depend on your strengths and personal preferences. As more professionals enter the workforce, there may be more opportunities to specialize in a certain niche.
The number of medical professionals pursuing M.B.A. degrees is on the rise, according to a large-scale analysis of Harvard Business School’s physician graduates. This leaves room for a doctor or executive to become an expert in a specialty, such as a cardio-thoracic surgeon who specializes in lung cancer or a hospital administrator who specializes in patient advocacy.
Professionals can show ambition and creativity in any healthcare role, including hospital administrator, hospital CEO or budget analyst.
5. Increasing New Technologies In The Healthcare Industry
New Healthcare technologically advanced home monitoring devices present an opportunity for more healthcare professionals to get involved in the expanding medical device sector. New home monitoring technologies include wireless sensor technology and remote patient monitoring. Wireless sensor technology allows patients to wear home health monitors without the inconvenience or obstruction of wires. Remote patient monitoring will eventually allow doctors to monitor patients who are living in the comfort of their own homes.
In the coming years, we can expect an increase in demand on the healthcare system. Now more than ever, the world needs qualified healthcare professionals to handle the demand increase, enforce new policies, manage technological advancements and further accelerate the bio-pharmaceutical industry.