Schools Training

Crisis Spawns New Opportunities for Healthcare Training Grads

19 NOV 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

It is hard to go a day without hearing something about the healthcare crisis in Canada and the United States. Our populations are ageing, and there are worries about having enough workers – and money – to provide quality care to all who will need it in the coming years. But when we stop to look at some of the ways that governments have been responding it becomes clear that new doors are opening for current and future graduates of healthcare education.


To respond to the healthcare crisis, governments have had to reorganize our healthcare system. Ontario, for example, launched the Ontario Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program as one response to the family doctor shortage. Residents can opt to consult with a nurse practitioner rather than a family doctor. These nurses can write prescriptions, order diagnostic tests, interpret results, share diagnoses and carry out certain procedures. Some reportedly even spend more time than doctors usually do with each patient, an hour versus fifteen minutes, for example.


This writer is old enough to remember a time when the nurse in a family doctor’s office might reasonably be expected to double as the receptionist. No more! The economic situation makes it such that each graduate of a healthcare education must apply their knowledge to the fullest. No more answering the phones, unless that is exactly what your healthcare diploma prepared you to do, as in the case, for instance, of a healthcare receptionist.


Increasingly, nurses must use their healthcare education to focus exclusively on the medical rather than other aspects of patient care. This means that trained support staff with the proper training must be on hand to assist patients with the tasks of daily living, such as bathing, eating, outings and activities. As nurses focus their work on medical care, it creates more of a need for graduates of other kinds of healthcare training to pick up the slack. This is good news for anyone with a personal support work healthcare diploma.


Similarly, Ontario recently decided to allow its pharmacists to administer flu shots. This was out of a desire to lessen the demand on family doctors, shorten wait times and streamline the system. But as pharmacists take on new roles and responsibilities, they will become increasing dependent on graduates of healthcare education programs to help them with other administrative and technical tasks behind the pharmacy counter. This change in the rules creates new opportunities for graduates of other kinds of healthcare training.


These are specific examples of a general shift: medical staff will concentrate on medical care, insofar as possible; support staff will concentrate on support; and administrative staff will handle the insurance claims, appointment-making, i.e., administration. Graduates of healthcare diploma programs will be crucial partners with doctors, nurses and pharmacists in providing quality care to all.


So if you are looking for an in-demand career imbued with meaning, consider a healthcare diploma that will prepare you to work in healthcare in a support or administrative role.



Visit Academy of Learning for more information on a healthcare diploma.