Finding a Cure to the Healthcare Staffing Crisis
Over the last few years, we have seen a growing need for healthcare talent, particularly in support roles. In addition to the 3.2 million healthcare workers the industry will need by 2026, as our population ages, the supply of healthcare workers is also shrinking as significant numbers retire or reduce their working hours.
At the same time, today’s workforce will need to prepare for new models of care, elder-specific technologies and health insurance reimbursement policies since older adults use more and different services than younger patients.
As we support the healthcare workplace in Florida and across the nation, we are committed to preparing new talent for our industry – now and into the future.
Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) recently commissioned The Study on Allied Health Workforce Retention, a first-of-its-kind national study among healthcare employees in support roles conducted by ACUPOLL® Precision Research, Inc., to understand the underlying causes of the healthcare staffing crisis and possible ways to address it. They also surveyed healthcare employers to assess if and how healthcare workplaces might take action to increase retention and employment in the healthcare industry.
Training, upskilling, and career advancement are important to retention
As expected, the study showed that pay followed by “enjoyable work/work environment” are the most important factors potential candidates cite for job satisfaction when they are looking for a job, regardless of industry. Prospective employees do find the pay, the ability to help others, and good benefits attractive in healthcare jobs. Approximately half also expect career advancement opportunities and cite “the enjoyment of working with patients” as appealing factors for working in healthcare.
So why aren’t they applying?
The study revealed that 52 percent of prospective employees didn’t feel they have the experience and skills to consider or even apply for healthcare jobs. Not knowing exactly what they want to do in healthcare is the next reason that 34 percent of prospective healthcare workers say they haven’t looked for a job in healthcare yet.
Prospective employees with experience in other industries like hospitality and retail also don’t appear to recognize that they may have transferable skills that would be valuable in the healthcare industry.
Less than half (45 percent) of prospective employees see customer service skills as valuable to the industry and only 43 percent think their team building skills have value – but customer service and team-building are “soft skills” in healthcare that employers are seeking in prospective employees with experience in other industries. Soft skills in healthcare go beyond communication to include critical thinking, emotional intelligence, time management, problem-solving and a strong work ethic.
Partnering for your staffing needs
It would be wise for the healthcare sector and individual employers to be more deliberate with hiring practices so that their communications clearly present offerings not only in terms of competitive salary and benefits, but the opportunity to help others, job security, and training to help people repurpose their skills into the healthcare workplace and prepare them for a career with advancement opportunities. Whether you’re a small regional healthcare practice or a large, national healthcare organization, UMA has the resources to help fulfill your healthcare staffing needs. We champion our students throughout their education and work together with our valued employer partners to place them in much-needed healthcare roles.
About Thomas Rametta
Thomas Rametta is president of Ultimate Medical Academy, a Tampa-based nonprofit healthcare educational institution with more than 10,000 students and over 80,000 alumni nationwide. Rametta leads UMA’s Vision 2025, the organization’s long-term strategic plan to develop a brighter future for its learners, partners, and team members.
Visit https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/ for more information.