Survey shows evolving healthcare roles

Professionals call for more training to ensure quality care

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The roles of healthcare professionals are evolving. We worked with Harris Poll to conduct an online survey of 250 registered nurses (RNs) and 253 healthcare administrative staff (admin staff) and found that these groups have seen an expansion of their roles and expect them to expand more so in the coming years.

Here’s the breakdown of what we found:

What’s changed?

Overall, healthcare professionals have a greater hand in managing patient care than they did two years ago. According to the survey, thirty-five percent of admin staff and 49% of RNs noticed an increase of overall patient care planning, and roughly a third of both groups (37% of RNs, 31% of admin staff) noticed a stronger focus on patient emotional well-being. Thirty-nine percent of both groups were expected to take greater leadership roles and a little over a third of both groups were required to become more innovative in addressing issues at their facilities (37% of RNs, 31% of admin staff).

The future of healthcare professions

When asked how they foresee their roles changing over the next five years, 84% of RNs and 86% of admin staff expected to have a greater role in the overall management of patient care. Nearly half of both groups expect to face increased involvement with regulations (50% of RNs, 45% of admin staff) and information systems (46% of RNs, 48% of admin staff). Forty-five percent of RNs also expect to focus more on patient emotional well-being in addition to physical well-being.

While 90% of RNs and 88% of admin staff think facilities should focus on preparing healthcare professionals with greater leadership skills, only 62% of RNs and 74% of admin staff think their currently facility does a good job doing so. Both groups are concerned that this lack of training will become another barrier to providing quality patient care.

Executive Dean of University of Phoenix College of Health Professions, Doris Savron, said in the survey press release, “Healthcare staff, including registered nurses and admin staff, are the lifeblood of the healthcare system. As they are increasingly tasked with more responsibility, it is essential that they are prepared to meet the demands of patient care and management to ensure quality care.” In her article in Modern Healthcare, Savron insists that students must be prepared to adapt to challenges trending the industry, but that it’s a university’s responsibility to equip them with the skills they need to do so. With those skills, they can make long-term industry improvements that better healthcare across the board.