If you are in the healthcare profession or looking to get into the healthcare profession in the US, you are in the right place at the right time. From dentists to nurse practitioners, the profession is in more demand now than ever before. The general public has realised the benefit of good health, and the pandemic has meant that large numbers of people have been unable to access healthcare, increasing current demand.
As more people live longer, there is a growing demand for healthcare, elderly living arrangements, home care, and general nursing. Overall employment in healthcare jobs is expected to grow 15% until 2029, which is faster than all other employment. With the surge in online learning, it is now possible to access training in most healthcare fields and join a sector that is booming and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future as people take their health more seriously.
Online education is booming, and choices abound
Increasing numbers of people have begun to access and use online training and education. Mainstream university courses have moved online, and it is a form of education that is currently expanding exponentially in the US and beyond. Online was not always associated with the practical professions such as healthcare or building, where the practical or face-to-face aspect was deemed a vital component of the learning process. Technology has moved on, and it is now possible to engage in most if not all such training online in a fashion that keeps professional standards and allows for face time.
The tech that you will need
To engage in online training properly, you will need some technology and access to the internet. The fact that training and education have moved online makes it more accessible, but you need to have a basic tech set up for this training to work professionally and serve its purpose. There will be no point signing up for a top online short course or full degree and expect to engage fluently with a tablet or smartphone. One will need a PC or laptop as a bare minimum, and then to improve the experience, a headset, camera, soundbar, and external storage for module handouts, videos, and lectures. Before you log on and sign up, make sure that you have the right tech to allow you to experience the full range of options available.
The types of training in healthcare
As aforementioned, anything can now be taught remotely with the right innovations used and access to technology. This has opened up the healthcare profession by providing access to all to embark on all levels of training to either enter the profession or simply upgrade existing skills. From basic first aid to professional online ABSN programs the entire suite of medical and healthcare training and courses can now be accessed online. Many still ask, ‘Can you learn practical skills online?’ and the answer is a resounding yes; webinars, online tutorials, and Zoom allows for all practicals and experiments to be explained and shown remotely.
Link the course to your current job
The key to good professional development is to build on existing skills or diversify within a particular sector. Healthcare is wide and varied, and some of the foundational aspects can be carried across to different sectors within the profession; for example, a practitioner nurse may be able to move across to ER nursing and vice versa. Whilst other more specialised areas may not be as transferable, such as palliative care nursing and dental care. Unless you are planning on moving sectors within healthcare, then the best way to upskill is to link the chosen course to your current job. If it is a long-term, permanent job, then look to take on a longer-term course.
Keep your employer informed and involved
Regardless of what you choose to study, keep your employer informed. It will not matter whether you think that you can do it after hours or that it will not affect your work. If it’s related and can add value to your current work, it will only help to let them know your plans and keep them updated as to the training. You may be surprised to find that they will support such professional and personal development. Should support be available for such training and education, read the fine print as to any obligations you have should your employer pay for the course or allow for time off from work for study and exams.
Completion is key
A large number of people sign up for online learning and courses that do not finish. There is almost a ‘new year resolution’ factor, where as soon as the initial idea and related excitement wanes, the attendance drops. If you have done your research and signed up for a course related to your work and something that you are intrinsically interested in, you stand a better chance of completing it. Furthermore, create or join a community online that can help to motivate and encourage you; real-time classrooms and chats are available and are a must if you are to complete the course. It has also been suggested to start small, start with a taster module, or do one course at a time to see if it’s really for you before you take on an entire degree course.
Consolidate before you move on
Build your skills solidly before you retrain or add to the training that you have done. The best way to improve a skillset is to use them. The healthcare profession is built on practical lifesaving and health improvement techniques and systems. Use and practice these systems as much as possible before looking to retrain or add strings to a bow that has yet to be used fully.
Improving your career is a possibility; it can be done online without missing a beat in the world of work. If you are a healthcare worker or professional, there are a number of ways that you can improve your career options.