The Health Care Evolution – Ten Trends That Can Revitalize Nursing

Nurses are at the forefront of an evolutionary wave in health care. Whether we take leadership or not will determine nursing’s future.

These ten trends can revitalize nursing if nurses break free from the confines of the medical model and use their education and skills to become wave riders.

1. Aging Boomers
Boomers are living longer. Quantity of life is driving a desire for better quality of life. This generation wants to learn how to stay vital, mobile, healthy and productive. They are looking for guidance in health promotion and wellness, not only disease prevention and treatment.

2. A 2nd Boom
Boomers Grandchildren are driving a huge demand for family health information and support for new and working moms. From birthing to family health education and sick child care, family systems need and want professional advice and innovative strategies to raise a brighter, stronger next generation.

3. Information explosion
Internet access provides health consumers with tons of information, but not the knowledge or wisdom to know how to use it without getting confused. They need knowledgeable health professionals as gatekeepers, trusted advisors, or health system navigators.

4. Holism
People are increasingly spending out of pocket dollars for alternative and complementary health care. Nursing education focuses on systems, whole person, life cycle perspectives that can guide in selecting appropriate options along a continuum of care.

5. Consumer driven health care
As consumers rely less on employer health coverage and more on personal health spending, they are seeking innovative and home based solutions for care including advanced home monitoring, telephone consultation, personalized care, and individualized treatment.

6. High Tech – High Touch
The need for personal connection, listening, and caring has never been higher. Nurses consistently rank first in every consumer poll for most trusted professional.

7. Shortages and Cost Containment
Professional shortages and a drive to contain costs, creates a push to use mid-level and low-level providers for technical care. Nurses will continue to be driven away from the institutional bed side. With decreasing numbers of people in institutional care, face to face professional health care will be delivered in the home and community.

8. Accessibility
Health information and care will be delivered on a global, mobile, remote, phone and internet basis. Nursing phone advice lines are increasingly popular with consumers.

9. Back to Basics
With increased interest in information and coaching on proper food and nutrition, supplements, stretching, meditation, simplicity, life balance, joy in work, and relationships wellness and health coaching is a growing field.

10. Self-Care/Self-Responsibility
People are realizing that doctors, medication and illness care are not going to keep them well. Employers, third party payers and common sense are driving consumers to take health care into their own hands. This trend will continue to drive an increase in self care information and reduction in in-patient and long term care.

Tomorrow’s nurses are not working under a doctor’s direction, or in an institution. To remain viable, nursing will have to think beyond the institutional medical care box.

Consumers are desperate for professional nurses to fill the need for proactive community
and home based health care.

Tomorrow’s nurses will be innovative community health leaders, who develop and deliver services directly meeting the changing needs of health consumers.

Progressive, professional nurses will form cooperatives, and creative health delivery systems that support families throughout the life span. They will provide continuity of health information and care while supporting people to navigate an ever more specialized and complex techno-medical system.

Grab A Board – Surfs Up!

© Aila Accad, RN

Health Care Schooling Opportunities and Courses

Health and medical professionals conduct job duties ranging from administrative work to medical care. Health care schools provide students with numerous areas of study that lead to satisfying careers. Students can seek schooling opportunities in several concentration areas that provide them with the coursework needed to enter the industry.

Students that have a desire to work in health care have multiple opportunities available to them. The interests of students will primarily determine what programs to work through. For example, students that want to enter health education will complete different training programs then students that want to enter cardiovascular technology. Educational training can be completed at all levels, but some may require students to hold graduate degrees to qualify for careers. Some areas may only require undergraduate degrees to step into careers. Students need to research the field to know what the requirements are for their area of interest.

Possible training options include:

*Health Information Technician

Professionals maintain all patient records for medical facilities. This highly important role ensures that everything is accurate and up to date. Schooling teaches students the proper and legal ways to collect, manage, and examine data. Students learn to handle medical history of patients and business billing. The goal is to decrease unneeded paperwork and help run the information side of health care smoothly. Common courses in this field may include:

  • Health Information Statistics
  • ICD Coding

Students will need to obtain at least an associate’s degree to enter careers as professionals.

*Cardiovascular Technology

The work done in this area of the field has students learning how to diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases. The different types of diseases are explored to give students a well-rounded knowledge of what affects patients and how to properly treat them. Several hours inside clinical and laboratory courses prepare students to understand diagnostic testing and how to assist with treatment practices. Core courses could include:

  • Ultrasound Technology
  • Electrocardiography

Students can become vascular technologists, echocardiographers, and more after completing a program.

*Health Services

Students interested in the operational side of health care should consider an education in health services. Through programs at every level students can study policies and apply them to organizational management. Administration degrees are highly common giving students a background in public health. Depending on the degree level students will either study to become entry-level managers or administrators. Through program areas relating to finance, human resources management, and more students are qualified for numerous careers inside the industry. Students will complete courses that include:

  • Health Finance
  • Aging and Health

Other areas of study can have students completing programs in preventive medicine, public health, and health education.

The industry is broad giving students several opportunities to enter training. Begin an accredited education in health care by choosing an area of study. Different agencies like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools ( http://www.abhes.org/ ) can accredit programs that provide a quality education. A satisfying career is available to students once they complete a degree program.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

How to Evaluate the Best Type of Home Health Care Agency to Meet Your Needs

The words “home health care” and “home health care agency” mean different things to different people.

With hospitals discharging patients to their homes sooner and sicker, families are not prepared and are overwhelmed. Many families do not want their loved one to go to a nursing home or skilled unit. Many families are never even given the option for home health care. Others think that when their family member is discharged form the hospital to home that there will be someone there 24 hours 7 days a week, for as long as the care is needed.

The home health care agency explained

There are two types of home health care agencies. The first addresses the health and medical care of the aging adult. Care is provided by home health care agencies, and can include the home health care aide, RN’s (registered nurse) and physical therapy. State and federal laws regulate these agencies. They are often Medicare and Medicaid certified. Many private insurances and HMO’s pay for these services as well. This means the agencies can get paid by these programs for providing home health services These services require a doctor’s order.

The services provided will be intermittent such as an RN coming in to do a dressing change or monitor vital signs. A home health care aide may come in a few times a week to assist with bathing and dressing. You must be housebound and only able to leave the house to go to the doctors or attend church to be eligible for these services.

The other type of home health care agency offers help with household duties and non-medical personal care. This could include preparing meals, bathing, dressing or moving around the house. Depending on the state, these agencies may or may not be licensed. This type of home health care allows a person with special needs to stay in their home. It is for individual’s who are getting older, are chronically ill, recovering from surgery or disabled. The best place to receive ongoing care may be in the comfort of your own home.

Studies show that our aging society not only wants to live independently as long as possible, but that they want to do it in their own home. Many have their own lives, live close to family and friends and have pets to keep them company and social activities to keep them busy. Mentally and emotionally, being at home is comfortable and often promotes wellness and healing.

Some feel that quality care at home can be expensive and is only for the wealthy

There are actually many ways for aging adults to receive qualify home health care. There are new programs such as reverse mortgages, VA benefits and long term care insurance. Many states now have state and local programs for the low income seniors that qualify for Medicaid to have waiver programs. These programs provide care at home in order to avoid an admission to a nursing home. There is a growing number of home health care agencies out there that provide for everything from companionship, to avoid loneliness to errand running and cooking and 24 hour live in services.

For medical and health care needs, there are home health care agencies that provide care when there is a change in the medical condition of the aging adult. The care required, must be deemed medically necessary by a physician.

For those individuals that want to age at home, having a good plan for the future in place is important. This may allow the aging adult to enjoy the comforts of home for as long as possible. You may no longer need to stay in a nursing home to receive good care.

If you are unsure if aging in place is an option for you or a loved one you may consider consulting with a care manager or eldercare consultant. A care manager can usually put together a plan that fits within a family budget. Care at home can be far less expensive than a move to a nursing home.