As healthcare continues to transform, the jobs within hospitals and health systems also continue to change. Recruiters who understand these changes are best equipped to compete to hire workers.
It’s no secret that the way we do healthcare in this country is changing, and this means, of course, that the jobs needed to support hospitals and health systems are going to change right along with it.
“Things are evolving— the emphasis is moving more to outpatient and community health management,” says Marcia Faller, chief clinical officer at San Diego-based AMN Healthcare, which operates several staffing and recruiting lines of business including Merritt Hawkins.
“Over the next five years, we will see many roles move from existing in hospitals go to outpatient or community settings,” she said. The entire care delivery model is changing—and the jobs are changing with it.” In fact, they’re falling into three distinct categories.
There are certain kinds of folks you just can’t run a hospital without. Nurses are one of them.
1. Nurses and Coders
“By sheer volume alone, the largest demand for a single profession in healthcare is for nurses, which take up nearly half of a hospital’s annual salary budget,” says Faller.
The demand is even higher for APRNs, says Jill Schwieters, President of Cielo’s healthcare division, an arm of the global talent acquisition and management solutions firm. Nurse practitioners, “can function as an extender to physicians,” she says, performing many of the same functions of a physician when there isn’t one available.
If restrictive scope-of-practice laws are relaxed or repealed at the state level, as many nursing groups are lobbying for, the doors will open for more of these jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics we can expect the demand for advanced practice and specialized nurses such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives or clinical nurse specialist to grow 31% over the next ten years.
The demand for medical assistants is also steady, and for a good reason. Medical assistants are almost as versatile as nurses and can fill in as needed, handling tasks like performing immediate assessments of patients or triage.
Other jobs in high demand are medical coders and billing specialists. The need will rise “as we approach October, 2015—the deadline for ICD 10 implementation,” says Faller. Billing and coding has become so complex that people who understand it well are going to be in demand, she says.
As the population ages, jobs related to rehabilitation services are expected to grow.
2. Allied Health Service Jobs
Among the fastest growing are occupational therapy assistants and aides, the demand for which is expected to grow 41% over the next decade and has a median salary of $48,940 annually. These jobs typically require only an associate of arts degree followed by certification.
The need for physical therapists and occupational therapists, which require further education, are also anticipated to grow much faster than average in the coming decade.
“We need more rehab specialists and occupational therapists, and as population ages, they will need even more of them. This area shows great return on investment,” says Schwieters.
While not specifically rehabilitation-based, another hot job in this category is audiologist, with a projected growth of 34% over the next decade.
This group includes some jobs that have been created by the PPACA, and some that have come about as a result of new technologies.
3. HIT Jobs and the Care Continuum
One class of jobs is related to healthcare IT. Hospitals and health systems will continue to have great demand for capable specialists who can handle EHRs including network specialists, database specialists, and data security professionals.
On the clinical side, there will be more need for workers along the care continuum such as health coaches, care coordinators and other preventative care roles—which may be appealing to people with backgrounds in either nursing or social work. “Health coaches didn’t exist 10 years ago,” points out Faller. “But, with accountable care, health systems are realizing that they need someone touching base with the patient.”
One more hot job, genetic counselor didn’t exist a decade ago, but BLS expects 41% growth over the next ten years. “New technologies and genomics are going to have an impact on hiring trends,” says Faller.
From HealthLeaders Media, by Lena J. Weiner, June 16, 2014