Learning from Experienced Health Pros

Julie Shenkman
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Healthcare professionals are never beyond the need for education, which is illustrated by the fact that most license renewals require a certain number of continuing education units (CEU) each year. Advances in healthcare, new trends in patient communication, and the need to remain practiced in certain skills make constant education essential. One way to keep your competitive edge in the medical field is to learn from experienced health pros.


Daily advances in healthcare mean doctors, nurses, technicians, and others must adapt to new equipment, processes, and software on a regular basis. Because keeping up with these changes while delivering consistent and high-quality patient care can be daunting, healthcare professionals are turning to innovative training methods to meet the challenge. A virtual hospital that trains medical staff through the use of actors and mannequins opened recently in Peoria, Illinois, to excitement and fanfare. A benefit of such a facility is that medical students and working healthcare professionals can learn new processes with no chance of harming patient care in the process.


Technical medical skills aren't the only thing you can learn from experienced pros. Seasoned doctors, nurses, and other practitioners often know how to discuss sensitive or complex topics in ways that better resonate with patients. You can pick up on these tips by shadowing experienced healthcare professionals, interviewing them for advice, or attending training seminars. A program sponsored by the Strong4Life program of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta offers information on conversing with patients about nutrition, exercise, and childhood obesity. Look for similar training opportunities in your area or suggest that your organization sponsor such seminars. You can also find out what others in the healthcare community are doing to pass on the knowledge accrued by experienced medical staff.


In addition to building your own skills by emulating and training with experienced pros, you can, in turn, use your knowledge of the medical field to assist younger workers. In some areas, hospitals and other facilities sponsor programs for high school and college students; in these programs, experienced healthcare professionals offer hands-on training, seminars, and workshops to help those interested in a medical career get a foot in the door. Some training programs hire inexperienced workers to do basic tasks while learning the ropes of a medical job. These programs help ensure that the next generation of medical professionals is well trained and allow prospective healthcare workers to determine if a healthcare position is right for them, while also helping facilities fill basic resource needs in a cost-effective manner.


While learning from other healthcare professionals or passing your own knowledge on to others does involve some work, it's worth putting in the time to advance your own career or ensure that your facility has its pick of talented new resources. Take action today to learn something new or teach an important skill.


(Photo courtesy of photostock / freedigitalphotos.net)


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