Why is Education so Important in Healthcare Systems?

Modern healthcare systems around the world are an integral part of any economy and form an important part of the fabric of society. Globally, there are an estimated 22 million workers in the healthcare industry, and it forms 19.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of America alone.

Any modern healthcare systems relies on a range of highly trained healthcare professionals that can deliver outstanding care to their local populations. It is a fact that education and modern health care systems are entwined together in the 21st century. In this article, some of the key reasons why education is so important in the field of healthcare will be discussed in detail.

To Use New Medical Technology

It is a fact that healthcare professionals need to keep up to date with ever-changing medical practice, new theories, and modern technology. All staff must subscribe to a philosophy of lifelong learning to ensure that their knowledge remains current and in line with the best evidence-based practice. As an example, some medical staff in hospital settings will be highly competent in the use of MRI scanners. This technology became available to hospitals in the 1980s after the technology was manufactured for use in medicine. Magnetic Resonance Imaging can provide healthcare professionals with highly accurate and detailed images of the inside of the human body and has proven to be a lifesaving tool when identifying and diagnosing illnesses. They are commonly used in the case of traumatic injuries being sustained by patients as they can indicate the precise location of fractures and can spot signs of internal bleeding. This technology requires highly skilled operatives to both use the equipment and accurately identify what the images indicate. Education and training in the use of this machine are therefore fundamental to its effective use. Every day, technology improves, leading to the development of new tools and systems like cardiology PACS. With it, monitoring and analyzing patient data is simpler. Like other aspects of healthcare, it requires that staff members learn how to make the most of it.

For Career Development

Many professions within healthcare require additional qualifications to be gained to allow career progression and specialization within certain fields of practice. Nursing staff may start their careers as registered nurses, which typically requires attaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. If they intend to progress to more senior positions in their industry, such as nursing leaders or some management roles, they will need to build on their clinical, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. Such qualifications can be gained by undertaking University of Indianapolis online nursing programmes of study. In short, there are a wealth of career development opportunities for healthcare staff, and these avenues for advancement tend to be closely aligned with gaining new skills and qualifications through education.

For Educating the Public

Modern healthcare systems increasingly serve as vehicles that improve public education and the understanding of healthcare issues. Public awareness campaigns in healthcare that serve to educate and inform are widespread throughout the health economy. One such example is the “Act FAST” campaign that was developed by Public Health England to educate the public on how to recognize and respond to people showing signs of experiencing a stroke. “FAST” stands for recognizing face, arms, and speech problems that commonly occur in stroke patients, with the final letter representing time to stress the importance of seeking emergency help as soon as possible for stroke patients. Data analyzed during the Covid-19 outbreak indicated that stroke patients were not seeking hospital admission as quickly during the pandemic, so this prompted healthcare leaders to re-launch the public awareness educational campaign.

To Retain Healthcare Staff

All employers want to minimize employee churn. This is where employees leave their jobs to find other careers or work for other organizations. It can be an expensive process for employers as recruitment costs for taking on replacement staff can require significant amounts of money. In addition, the employer may need to spend time training the new starters before they reach similar levels of competence and expertise as the previous staff. In healthcare, having access to ongoing education that leads to opportunities for progression is seen as a key way of retaining staff. It also helps to ensure that highly skilled and competent staff are present in all sectors of the industry to maximize the quality of patient care.

To Drive Change

Innovation and advancements in healthcare are an ever-present and ongoing characteristic of the industry. It makes logical sense that by having a highly educated workforce, there are greater opportunities to spot improved ways of working and more efficient practices. In addition, research and development is a highly specialized field within healthcare and relies on having teams of highly educated and well-trained staff to undertake the roles which lead to clinical advances. The recent advances in stem cell therapy have been down to having exceptionally well-educated and knowledgeable research teams who can identify new clinical practices because of their work.

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