Finding the right staffing mix to support a busy healthcare provider is tough in today's employment market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly two million new jobs in the healthcare sector by 2028.
Overtime, burnout and decreased patient care all take a profound toll on these professionals and the patients they serve. Programs that keep employees happy and help expand their career options are a long-term healthcare training solution. Stop slapping Band-Aids on the issue when it needs sutures. Put in place comprehensive healthcare training solutions that let entry-level employees become healthcare professionals. Functional training is also a great way to boost recruitment efforts. Here are a few innovative ideas to treat the problem of chronic short staffing.
1. Cross-Training to Fill Skills Gaps
Automation is helping to reduce the need for direct employee hours in some areas, but the need for skilled healthcare workers continues to grow. Whether you’re downsizing a department or trying to create flexible staffing teams that can handle unexpected surges in demand, it might make more sense to offer current employees the option to re-train or cross-train for a different position. Reception staff might be trained on cleaning instruments and resetting rooms for the next procedure. Nurses trained in scheduling can fill in when necessary. By creating cohesive teams with operational knowledge in several areas, healthcare providers can minimize disruption when short-staffed.
2. Implement Pay-to-Play Processes
Paying to train in-house employees can get expensive if they complete programs and head on to greener pastures. Employment contracts are one way to keep trained people in their positions, justifying the expense. You pay the cost of classes upfront, and employees agree to stay on for a pre-set term after completion, essentially creating healthcare apprenticeship programs. It's a win for both employer and employee. Plus, offering continued education might keep employees working toward new opportunities, all in-house.
3. Develop Candidates with Post-Hire Training
Hiring an employee pending the successful completion of a training program sounds expensive. It means a significant investment of resources and no guarantee at the end of the healthcare apprenticeships. If an employee prospect doesn't need certifications to start work, why make them wait? For many positions, there's no legislation about certification, though it is often preferred. By making the hire first and giving new employees real-world experience as they train, you can improve certification success rates while simultaneously filling the position.
4. Integrate Training and Recruiting
When workers don't know that education is available, they don't sign up for classes. If training is an advertised benefit, you might get workers who come just for the opportunity — solving two problems at once by building a bigger force of highly-trained workers and giving your hiring numbers a boost.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution to create a better workforce, but there are options to expand your training programs. Plus, you can offer more education without losing work hours. Check out one of over 35 MedCert programs and offer the options that help you fill employment gaps. Short on EKG technicians? Add the training program and talk to current employees about advancement opportunities. The right combination of aggressive hiring tactics and in-house training avoids unscheduled OT. Instead, floors stay fully staffed and functional.
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