The Importance of Continuous Education in Healthcare

Feb 28, 2022 7 Min Read
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Keep Educating Yourself!

Perpetual learning and growing is important in any industry, and yet healthcare is arguably an area in which continuous education has a more critical part to play.

To understand this, let’s uncover the benefits that come with personal development in a healthcare context.

Evolution is constant

Some industries pride themselves on having maintained traditional techniques and equipment for decades or even centuries, but in healthcare this simply isn’t possible.

Indeed the opposite is true; healthcare providers and practitioners must always be evolving to keep pace with the rate of change spurred on by new treatments and research findings.

Whether you are a doctor, a nurse, a surgeon, a pharmacist, or have undergone health and human services training, you simply cannot allow your skill set to stagnate. Cutting-edge technologies, revisions to best practices for patient care, the latest medical advancements, and changing societal expectations are all brought to bear on this sector.

In short, continuous education is not an optional luxury but rather a necessity for anyone who wants to remain employable in this industry.

READ MORE: The Future Of Work Is Continuous Learning

We will delve into the specifics of how continuous learning is achieved a little later, but whether you choose to embrace e-learning courses which provide access to exceptional digital resources, or you attend in-person seminars, conferences and industry-focused events that cater to your healthcare specialisms, there are myriad ways to grow your knowledge.

Skill-building is rewarded

Speaking of employability, another of the crucial aspects of continuous education in healthcare is that it enables workers at all levels to command solid salaries for their skills. Average earnings are significantly higher in this industry than the median across every profession, which is a reflection of the value that the ethos of continuous education generates in healthcare.

In turn, there is a growing demand for healthcare jobs, giving this type of career both flexibility and stability that is tough to find elsewhere. With above-average job growth, and demand for healthcare workers nationally and internationally, the right skills and experience will let you work almost anywhere and enjoy ample demand from employers.

This can make up for the increased challenges and stresses faced by health professionals compared with those in other white collar jobs.
Thus people are incentivised to take advantage of the training opportunities and resources that are at their disposal, rather than letting them pass by unnoticed.

Further to this, the training you undergo will bolster your career prospects and open new doors, whether you choose to stick with a healthcare position or not. Enhancing your resume with transferable skills is advisable for all professionals, as we shall discuss later.

Costs are reduced

From an operational perspective, continuous education is a positive component of healthcare for the businesses involved because it means that they can provide services in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.

Handling professional development in-house, such as through the provision of free training sessions, free seminars and even mentorship programs which allow experienced team members to nurture new colleagues, helps avoid a cavalcade of potentially expensive and calamitous scenarios. 

Conversely, if employees are under-qualified or not up to speed with the latest developments in their field, they will not be able to perform optimally and could even make mistakes, both of which will lead to additional expenses and hassle for the organization as a whole.

If staff are empowered to always have access to new learning materials and programs, then this can actually save their employer money in the long run, even with the costs of offering continuous learning taken into account.

Access is improving

Given that we have now established how crucial it is for those working in healthcare to be able to learn new skills, expand their existing skills and stay abreast of the latest developments, it’s worth talking briefly about the issue of access.

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While traditional learning resources were limited in their scope and restricted to in-person training, the rise of e-learning in the past few years has leveled the playing field and enabled people at all levels to receive the education they deserve. 

For example, there are e-learning programs that cover degree-level courses in everything from medical coding and billing to pharmacy management and mental health counseling.

Or if you are already on your path to becoming a nurse, there is an abundance of online resources available to complement your studies and help you achieve passing scores on various exams, including mandatory ones like the TEAS for admission to nursing schools and the HESI to assess your readiness for the NCLEX. You can find numerous reading materials and study guides from various reputable companies easily accessible online. Additionally, access to online HE Diplomas for Nursing can provide you with a comprehensive education and enhance your career prospects in the field. You can pass the HESI exam easily with Career Employer's study materials or use NursHu’s practice questions and practice exams for the TEAS test. You can even access medical scripts online, providing valuable resources for healthcare professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills.

These are available from established bricks and mortar institutions like Maryville University and the University of Phoenix, as well as up and coming competitors like Ultimate Medical Academy which are just as thoroughly accredited. 

Flexibility also comes with e-learning, so you don’t need to sacrifice or compromise in order to broaden your horizons. Instead, continuous learning can be accessed wherever and whenever works best for you, and this isn’t just relevant in healthcare but across every industry.

Some skills are transferable

While obviously there is a lot of industry-specific education that is required to keep the wheels of healthcare turning successfully, much of the training and skill-acquisition that goes on in this industry is entirely transferable.

From effective time management, which is particularly crucial in a healthcare context, to soft skills like being a good listener and communicating well with colleagues, transferable skills are very valuable.

Whether that means people can switch to new roles elsewhere in healthcare, or whether that means them taking what they have learned and applying it to an entirely different sector, the benefits are felt far and wide. This is a state of affairs that other businesses could learn from.

This may interest you: Moving Between Industries: A Tale Of Transferable Skills

Wrapping up

Lots of industries are subject to constant evolution and change, yet in healthcare this applies more than most, and so for this reason alone there is a need for continuous education and employee development.

In turn, the skills that are acquired through on-the-job training as well as outside studies can go towards building rewarding careers for individuals, who can then benefit their employers as valuable team members and future leaders.

Ideally this will also lead to cost savings for organizations that are willing to support employees in this way. And e-learning tools mean that access is more egalitarian, and flexibility is part and parcel of the learning process.

Add to this the transferability of skills accrued through continuous education, and it is apparent that this trend not only has a positive impact on healthcare, but also in any other industry which workers from this field might choose to move to further down the line.

So while tech titans like Amazon might be praised for their emphasis on outskilling, this has arguably been going on in healthcare for much longer.

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