Updated content on July 14, 2023.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to adjust their daily lives and rethink their careers. Healthcare workers are one of the professions most affected by the changes the pandemic has brought. The growing use of telemedicine, the heightened focus on sanitation, and the shortage of qualified healthcare workers are all impacts of COVID-19. Read on to learn more about these shifts and what it means to be an essential healthcare worker in a post-COVID world.
The Growth of Telemedicine
You might be wondering what exactly telemedicine is. Telemedicine allows patients to meet with healthcare providers virtually to assess, diagnose, and create treatment plans without being seen in an office.
For example, let’s say you wake up one morning and feel a little under the weather. You decide to schedule a telemedicine appointment as opposed to visiting your doctor’s office. This appointment will be completed via video, where your provider will do a virtual assessment by asking the same types of questions they would at an in-person appointment. After speaking to your provider, they will likely decide if you need additional tests, a prescription, or a follow-up visit.
One of the great benefits of the rise of telemedicine is that healthcare providers can treat patients from their own homes, which can help stop the unnecessary spread of illnesses. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, the use of telehealth services has increased by 38 times compared to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For healthcare workers, this increase in telemedicine use can also lead to more employment opportunities for those who aim to work in telehealth.
The Increased Focus on Sanitation
The focus on following cleaning and sanitation procedures has increased since word of the COVID-19 pandemic started circulating. This is especially true for medical facilities where controlling infectious diseases like COVID-19 is crucial. Since the height of the pandemic, cleanliness guidelines are still in place for healthcare workers to follow and are likely here to stay. As an essential healthcare worker, it is vital to understand the importance of following these procedures to ensure you and your patients are safe and help stop the spread of germs.
The CDC recommends that high-touch surfaces in community buildings be disinfected at least once per day, but each medical facility will have its own regulations for cleaning. Along with cleaning high-touch surfaces, it is important to follow proper hand-washing techniques, especially while working in a healthcare setting. For a step-by-step demonstration of proper hand-washing, check out this video by WVJC!
The Shortage of Healthcare Professionals
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of qualified healthcare professionals has risen. Factors such as the aging baby boomer population needing additional medical care, the aging, and retiring workforce, and the growth of telemedicine have all contributed to the need for essential healthcare workers.
Phlebotomy technicians are one example of the growing need for healthcare professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that the growth rate for phlebotomists from 2020 to 2030 is 22%, with an estimated 19,500 job openings for qualified phlebotomists every year across the country.
The lasting effects of the pandemic have caused the need for healthcare workers to climb even higher. With more and more patients requiring care, many hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics have become short-staffed and struggle to provide care for their patients.
This can mean additional incentives for those looking to begin their careers in healthcare. Some medical facilities offer sign-on bonuses, increased salaries, and other ways to attract qualified professionals. With the growing need for essential healthcare workers, now is a great time to get started in the healthcare industry!
Ready To Start Your Essential Healthcare Career?
Let Boardman Training Center help you get started toward a career in the growing healthcare industry! Discover our Cardio Phlebotomy, Phlebotomy Technician, and EKG Technician programs by contacting our admissions team!