Healthcare is one sector within society that will always be important. This is because it provides much-needed care to people when they are sick or have been injured in an accident. Healthcare is also valuable for carrying out public initiatives to keep us all in top shape and pass on information about staying healthy.
In addition, healthcare is crucial for the national economy and for creating jobs. In 2021, for example, US Census Bureau figures on healthcare employment showed there were around 9.8 million staff in the sector. With trained healthcare workers in demand and enjoying high levels of job satisfaction, it has naturally become a popular career path for many to take.
How can you get into healthcare as a career?
As with any skilled type of career, working in healthcare requires the right training and knowledge to pursue. Getting the qualifications you need first is key because this will enable you to apply for positions you wish to target.
The exact program you need to study will depend on the role you want to move into. For example, if you plan to become a registered nurse, you will need first to obtain your bachelor’s degree in nursing. If you then go on to target higher-level healthcare roles, you may well need more advanced qualifications behind you. Two of the most common courses of study are a Ph.D. or Ed.D.
Comparing Ed.D. and Ph.D. degrees online is a good idea to start with because this allows you to choose the most suitable one to go for. While both are fine choices, many feel that the Ed.D. offers more scope in terms of future roles.
How is the educational landscape in healthcare changing?
The above shows how important education is in healthcare for gaining the skills needed to work within it. Education is also important for ensuring patients get the best care and the best outcomes. If proper education were not required to move into healthcare roles, the outcomes for patients could be very different!
As with any industry that has been around for a while, healthcare is constantly evolving. While this can be seen in the care that patients receive or the variety of roles within the sector, it is also something present in healthcare education. This means that the educational options for people moving into the industry have changed over the years, and how education is delivered has also grown.
Technology has changed higher education in healthcare
One of the best examples is how cutting-edge technology has transformed higher education within healthcare. This has been an ongoing process over the last few decades and is something that is hugely beneficial to the sector.
People looking to forge a career in this industry can now choose to study online courses, which give them a flexible and convenient way to gain the qualifications required. These programs still offer world-class learning but do so in a fresh way, which means you do not have to attend classes physically. This can be a cheaper way to gain the knowledge needed to work in the industry and a more inclusive way to study, for those who cannot attend in-person classes regularly.
Tech also impacts how classes are taught
It is not only the type of courses you can study now that show how tech has recently driven real change in healthcare education. Tech has also seen a transformation in how healthcare learning is delivered to students.
This, of course, is true for online students who use modern tech, like videoconferencing software, cloud-based learning platforms and email as part of their program. It can also see tutors using the latest tech as part of the classes they stream online in order to make them more engaging.
The use of tech in modern healthcare education is also relevant to students attending classes in person. Tutors in this setting will also use a range of modern technology and next-gen devices as part of their lectures. This could be anything from VR software to help trainee nurses practice standard procedures to embedding online video content into the information they present in class.
More variety in healthcare education
Changes in educational healthcare can also be seen in the number of institutions that offer healthcare courses for students to study. By giving this kind of choice to trainee healthcare professionals, it allows them to be more selective in where they study and pinpoint courses, which include learning the exact subjects they desire.
This increased level of choice for students has also seen more competition between institutions within the sector. Due to this, the overall quality of education offered has risen over the years and seen universities go to even greater lengths to attract students.
The increased variety in modern healthcare learning is also evident in the various modes of study available now. This is a lot different from previous eras when only traditional modes of study were considered. Whether it is remote learning or part-time study for busy professionals looking to gain healthcare qualifications, it is easy to see how this presents itself in modern times.
When you also consider the number of different courses available in healthcare education now (from accelerated degrees to specialized qualifications for specific roles), it is clear just how this sector has been revolutionized lately.
Learning not just focused on front-line care
The transformation we have seen around the educational landscape in healthcare also influences what is taught now. In days gone by, much of the educational system in this industry was centered on providing training for primary care roles, such as nurses or physicians. While this is naturally still a significant area of focus, modern times have seen a much broader level of training offered.
This can be seen through courses that prepare the next generation of healthcare leaders and programs that allow people to hone their skills for admin positions in the sector. By broadening the nature of education in health, everyone looking to work in it can now gain access to quality higher education. This is not only vital for maintaining high standards of care for patients in hospitals or clinics but also for helping people, in non-clinical roles, access world-class learning.
How can educational institutions contribute to quality higher education in healthcare?
While the above shows how healthcare education has changed over time, it is also key to consider just how the quality of education in the sector has been upheld over the same period. This is very important because any changes to healthcare education must not negatively impact the standard of academic learning delivered.
By focusing on this core concept, the healthcare industry is able to produce trained professionals of the highest standard continually. There is no doubt that educational institutions within the sector play a crucial role in maintaining standards and have a direct impact in this area. As they are responsible for educating the next generation of healthcare staff, the quality of the learning they offer becomes vital.
One way they contribute positively to this is by maintaining high academic standards within the courses they offer. By continually reviewing the material they teach, and the subjects the courses cover, they can ensure students get the very best learning. In addition, this helps educators ensure their courses remain relevant and move with the times. Educational institutions can play a central role if they also focus on upholding teaching standards and investing in the resources needed to train students effectively.
Educators are essential to top-class healthcare learning
In addition to educational institutions influencing the quality of higher education within healthcare, individual educators can also impact students. This makes working as an educator within the sector a popular choice — especially if the front-line roles that see you giving direct care to patients are not appealing.
When you also factor in the good rates of pay and immense satisfaction working as a healthcare educator brings, you can see why lots of people move down this career path. But how can educators themselves have an impact on the quality of higher education in healthcare?
Picking up higher-level qualifications
As with other roles in this sector, educators in healthcare will already possess certain qualifications to be able to teach. To offer the best learning possible, it is worth considering gaining advanced qualifications as part of your continuing professional development.
This will help any healthcare educator develop new knowledge and new skills to offer even better levels of teaching to students. As a result, it will mean the quality of learning in the sector improves overall and that students graduate with a higher level of knowledge.
Quality, engaging lessons
Educators can contribute to the quality of higher education in healthcare by maintaining high teaching standards. This is helpful because it means any course content is taught to an excellent standard, and students get the best-quality learning as a result.
Focusing on the standard of teaching also means educators can ensure healthcare students are taught correctly, have expert guidance to call on if required and are pushed to fulfill their true potential. It can also be helpful for educators to adopt an engaging teaching style, which inspires students and always stay up to date with the latest developments in the industry to include in classes.
Be available for students
While academic rigor is naturally very important for the quality of learning in healthcare, it is not the only thing that can impact a course’s overall feel. The quality of learning provided can also be measured by the student experience, in general.
But why is this such an important element to discuss? For the students themselves, it is not just classes and seminars that determine how good the learning they receive is. They will look at the whole package and decide based on that. While a number of factors can impact this, their interactions with individual educators play a significant role.
Educators, for example, can add to the quality of any course delivered by dealing with students respectfully and professionally. In addition, they can make time for their students and be on hand to talk through any issues they might be having with their course. For specific assignments, educators can help improve the quality of learning by making time to help struggling students.
Not just about direct teaching staff in higher education
We have looked at how individual educators within healthcare can impact the quality of learning, but this is not something just confined to those who teach students directly. Other key roles within a higher-education setting can contribute significantly to the standard of education offered.
One good example of this is people who work in leadership roles within higher education across healthcare. As they are responsible for maintaining the quality of courses offered by the institution, they can have a major say in how robust the learning their university provides is. For those at the very top who control budgets or policies, the decisions they make can filter down to have a direct influence on the quality of teaching provided and the overall student experience.
It is also pertinent to look at how support staff in healthcare affect the quality of higher education in the industry. By keeping student records updated with the right modules and helping students deal with any admin queries, these staff can ensure a top-class learning experience is delivered overall.
Which roles in healthcare higher education allow you to make a difference?
If you plan to move into a healthcare educator role, then you will be eager to find out which are best to target. There are many positions educators can fill in this sector, making it an exciting one to break into. But which are the best to access in healthcare higher education?
The most obvious example is working as a tutor at a university. This is a very rewarding role and one that sees you directly teaching the next generation of healthcare professionals. With good rates of pay and a fast-paced working environment, it also gives you the chance to pass on knowledge and work within healthcare but outside of a direct patient-care role.
A similar role that gives you chance to work as an educator in healthcare is health informatics education officer. This position sees you train people in how to use the latest technology in the industry and boost levels of patient care as a result. While this can be based within higher-education establishments, health informatic education officers can conduct training sessions off-site or work entirely within the professional healthcare sector.
At the other end of the scale, you could aim for the role of dean of students. This is one of the best-paying jobs in higher education overall and certainly within institutions that focus on healthcare courses. Although this might not see you directly teaching students, it is a leadership role that can still allow you to have a real influence on the quality of learning and the overall student experience.
Where might healthcare education head next?
Although the changes we have seen to the educational picture around healthcare are wide-ranging, the nature of the sector means it will only stand for a while. But where could it head next?
One direction you would expect to see it move in is a greater use of cutting-edge technologies. While we have already noted the huge impact of tech on higher education in the industry, this is only the start. As more sophisticated technology is developed for educators to use, we should see classes become even more engagin
g. The continued development of tech in healthcare as a whole should also become an even more important part of any course curriculum.
It would also not surprise you to see higher education in healthcare continue to offer new ways of learning and new modes of study. If this is combined with more courses around non-front-line patient care, it should be exciting times ahead for educators in the sector.
The educational landscape of healthcare has changed greatly
There is little doubt that healthcare’s educational landscape has changed a lot over the years. Whether it is the variety in terms of how to study, the choice in terms of what to study or the increasing use of tech, it is hard to conclude otherwise.
The educators, themselves, in higher education are key to this and the ongoing excellence healthcare education offers. These individuals work tirelessly to pass on their own knowledge and inspire the next generation of healthcare workers. For this reason, working in healthcare education is a popular career choice and an effective way to use any knowledge/qualification you have gained in this area.