It’s often been said that businesses of old were focused on a model of factory-style leadership, where the workforce was treated as another machine to be worked into the ground with no sense of humanity.
These days, however, the business world has changed dramatically, and leaders now understand that to get the best out of the workforce, you need to treat them as human beings and as independent thinkers who have a lot to bring to their role.
In the world of healthcare, this is an idea that is really taking off, and health care in the 21st century has become much more professionalized than healthcare in the 19th and 20th century ever could dream of.
Professionalism in healthcare is categorized by a focus on patient welfare, trust, and altruism, as well as patient autonomy and care for the social considerations around medicine and healthcare.
It is for this reason that healthcare has moved forward with a model of high stakes high and reward professionalism that has pushed the boundaries of modern science, giving modern humans much better access to advanced medical possibilities than they would ever have been dreamed of before.
Focusing on professionalism within the healthcare field means that advancements in medicine can be more quickly investigated and rolled out; this leads to a much better patient-doctor relationship and builds trust in medical professionals across-the-board.
While all of this may seem like good news for patients and patient advocacy, there is still much to be learned and much to be done to improve the way that medical professionals interact with both patients and their carers.
There is also a lot to be done to improve the professional outlook of modern medicine and healthcare facilities.
As science and technology improve in the 21st century, there will be a much bigger focus on data and data analytics. This is an area that has definitely not passed over healthcare and medicine.
As medicine and healthcare become more scientific, the need for strong data and talented data analysts is ever more present in the modern world.
By working with professionals who understand data analysis and statistics, we can take a more macro look at how a medical intervention works across a much wider field, giving medical professionals more evidence than ever before for vehicles of action.
Being professional in the field of medicine means relying on professional colleagues to be able to do the more in-depth work that is required, which is why there is now a big push towards hiring people with much higher level qualifications.
In nursing, for example, degree courses such as the doctorate level DNP course (doctor of nursing practice) provide nurses with the opportunity to further their own knowledge and experience better qualifications.
The DNP course is a higher-level course for very well-experienced nurses who wish to take their careers to the next level and demonstrate that they are ready to be in positions of higher leadership.
DNP graduates are more likely to enjoy careers that are both more challenging and more highly paid.
One of the most exciting aspects of the DNP course for nurses is the ability to specialize in certain areas of medicine. For example, becoming a licensed midwife, an advanced nurse practitioner, working within family care clinics, and specialist nursing areas such as maternity and gynecology.
DNP graduates who wish to take a step back from patient-focused roles may wish to concentrate their experience on higher-level leadership positions.
Having people who have more experience and who have undertaken more advanced degree courses such as the DNP course is very welcomed in positions of leadership where it’s important to have colleagues and peers who have experience of the job on the front lines, and can speak from an area of both hands-on experiences as well as deep theoretical knowledge.
The DNP course for nurses is a doctorate level course that is equivalent in learning to a medical doctor (MD) qualification, and more states are realizing that DNP graduates with this level of qualification are able to work in an autonomous way than standard advanced nurse practitioners without a DNP qualification can.
This is great news for both patients and healthcare teams, as it means that patient care can be spread across more highly trained professionals.
All professional businesses have one thing in common, and that is a strong focus on goals and outcomes.
While sensible businesses recognize that it is impossible to be both efficient and innovative, having well-qualified people on the team, such as DNP nurses, means there is more scope to be innovative within a realm of practical knowledge. This leads to better risk-taking strategies with a higher chance of success.
By speaking with professionals who have hands-on experience, leadership teams can help healthcare facilities professionalize by setting realistic goals and targets for improvement across all teams. The nursing team, the administration team, the physician team, and all other teams who need to work together.
Goal setting within medicine and healthcare is not an easy thing to do, but when more of your leadership team have higher level qualifications and experience, it makes the process a lot easier.
Speaking of making the process a lot easier for teams, one of the most important ways that the healthcare industry can become more professionalized is to invest in outstanding leadership within healthcare.
Great leadership is not something that comes naturally to everyone, and it is definitely something that can be -and should be- trained into your leadership team. You cannot expect a team of professionals in their fields to possess the skills to lead by example all of the time, but having a focus on good leadership culture is absolutely vital to ensure efficiency.
In industries such as healthcare, which have traditionally been very hierarchical, switching the culture to be one of supportive great leadership can be very difficult for people who have been in the industry such as health care for their entire professional life, especially if this means changing the way things have always been done for new ways that may seem alien to them.
The bonus here comes from having professionals who have worked through top-level qualifications, such as advanced nurses with DNP doctor qualifications and medical doctors with doctor qualifications. These courses have modules and sections specifically devoted to management and good leadership, teaching students and graduates new techniques -and explaining the evidence behind the techniques- so that they may better communicate with peers who may have been in positions of leadership in healthcare for many decades and who may not be familiar with new ideas.
While this can be difficult for professionals who have not done the latest courses to deal with, the evidence that strong leadership is important in the workplace is overwhelming, and when more leaders have the skill set to promote good leadership ideas, the culture of change will slowly filter out down the line.
In the healthcare industry, patient care is always at the heart of every decision, but this doesn’t mean that patient care has always been taken as seriously on an individual level.
Patient care plans are individualized for every person, and every person should have a right to great health care at every point in their life, regardless of any lifestyle decisions they may take.
It is on this part of the professionalizing of healthcare that qualified professionals should be working together to improve patient care plans without judgment and with a critical eye with regards to each area of care.
Equality and inclusion are two very important things that businesses across all sectors are looking to improve in the 21st century, and healthcare is no different.
As well as improving patient care and patient care plans, a professional approach to healthcare must also include a strong devotion to improving communication across the professions.
As healthcare becomes more digitalized and more centralized, the sharing of information between professionals should be much easier and much clearer.
For patients, this could mean that their primary care physician and their gynecologist are in regular communication and understand and respect each other on a professional level, taking advice from each profession and professional with regards to whole-patient care.
A holistic approach to patient care is absolutely vital for improving both personal health and the health of the wider society; when people are healthy on an individual level, they tend to naturally improve the health of those around them.
Learning is one of the most important things that any individual who is looking to take their career to the next level can invest in, no matter what industry there is.
Learning in the medical industry is even more vital, as medicine becomes much more science-based and advancements in medicine are happening at an incredibly fast rate.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have a duty of care to take on a certain level of continuing professional development (CPD), but just doing the bare minimum of professional development is not always the most helpful in every situation, and more and more health care facilities are looking for better-qualified people to work with them.
Courses such as the doctorate level DNP nurses course allow nurses to take a match deeper dive into their role and how their role fits within healthcare facilities.
The DNP courses focus on improving knowledge as well as improving professionalism within the nursing sector, it’s a great example of how healthcare can invest in learning at every level.
One of the biggest areas of concern as healthcare becomes more technological and more digitized is that of patients’ privacy and data security.
A strong emphasis on medical professionals being able to use the newest technology available to them and to use it in the correct manner, which does not put patients’ private medical history is at risk, is something that courses such as the DNP course teach as standard.
This does mean that healthcare professionals who have been in the sector for many decades will need to keep up with the changes, and as we all know, changes in technology and access to technology are changing at a rapid pace.
Take, for example, the emergence of wearable devices for people and how these may be used by medical professionals to feedback information to influence patient care plans.
Patients wearing devices such as Fitbits and Mi Bands will be able to give a much more accurate picture of their health and activity level than patients who are just estimating their activity level throughout the day.
What this means for medical caregivers, such as doctors and nurses, is that technology can be used to paint an accurate picture, and medical intervention can be honed down to really focus on what the specific patient needs, rather than what generic patients in their situation might need.
This is just one example of how technology in medicine can improve patient advocacy and patient outcomes.
A smaller concern for people at higher leadership levels of healthcare is that of professionalism and down the line.
As social media and invasive technologies such as camera phones become more common in the healthcare workplace, it is important that all healthcare facilities have strong and robust policies on how their staff can use social media and their professional name in public, and how this may reflect on where they work.
There is a very delicate balance to be struck between sharing information in a public scope, such as famous YouTube doctors like Dr. Mike do, and bringing medical and healthcare facilities into disrepute by sharing private patient information or appearing to take the serious job of medical professionals too lightly. This has been the case has been with some doctors and nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic on platforms such as TikTok and has prompted widespread media criticism.