Healthcare Talent Scavenger Hunt

Healthcare Talent Scavenger Hunt

The need for talented people in the medical industry is complicated. It’s not about the inability to find any one particular type of qualified candidate, but rather, it’s about the need to fill a wide range of roles that often require specific skillsets.

Nursing, for example, is a completely different field than information technology and the healthcare sector has a pronounced need for more workers in both areas. This makes the challenge of onboarding new talent rather expansive, as companies have to launch more than one kind of project to attract the right people.

Several of the recent talent development initiatives related to the medical sector have targeted vacancies in specific subsectors. Each has been very different regarding the type of candidates being sought.

More Rural Residencies = More Rural Providers

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) had a straightforward logic when it launched the Rural Residency Planning and Development Program. Given the marked need for more healthcare providers in rural areas, the HRSA created the program to expand the number of accredited rural residency training programs and thereby subsequently increase the number of physicians choosing to practice in these areas of the United States.

“Programs like the Rural Residency Planning and Development grants take aim at one of the most persistent disparities: access to high quality healthcare providers. HRSA is committed to increasing the number of providers serving rural communities and improving health in rural America,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D.

Parkview Huntington Hospital in Huntington, IN was recently awarded a $750,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to launch a family medicine rural residency program. The hospital was one of 27 other grant recipients nationwide, and the only recipient from surrounding Midwestern states around Indiana.

“This grant provides us with the opportunity to explore how we can better train and attract more family medicine physicians to serve patients in our rural communities,” said Juli Johnson, president, Parkview Huntington Hospital. “Research demonstrates that physicians who train in rural communities are likely to stay in those communities to practice medicine.”

Tech Support Needed

There is already a shortage of information technology (IT) professionals in the healthcare industry and demand for them is projected to rapidly increase. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 13 percent job growth in healthcare IT, also known as health informatics, through 2026. That’s nearly double the job growth of all occupations.

One of the areas that Trine University focused on when it launched its new School of Computing last fall was the was the healthcare industry’s need for more people skilled in IT. The university’s healthcare informatics course of study was one of the first degree programs established under the newly-launched school. Local hospital officials were eager to collaborate with the program, helping to advise on curriculum and internships.

“The newly developed computer science and IT program with a Health Informatics option and an optimistic job outlook makes this an easy career choice for anyone interested in technology and the medical field,” said Ryan A. Overton, Ph.D., dean of the Allen School of Engineering & Technology.

A Long-Term Manufacturing Talent Strategy

OrthoWorx, a Warsaw, IN-based nonprofit that serves as a development resource for the orthopedic manufacturing industry, has instituted a long-range recruitment strategy that is aimed at exposing individuals as young as eighth grade to career opportunities in regional manufacturing. The organization expanded its talent development initiatives DiscoverME, which is directed at middle-school aged students, and RealME, which is for high school students. In all, nearly 2,200 students got a close-up look at careers recently.

Forty guest speakers from local companies visited classrooms during the DiscoverME program. Students toured facilities like DePuy Synthes, Medtronic, Paragon Medical, Polywood, Precision Medical Technologies, or Zimmer Biomet.

For the RealME program, students from four school corporations traveled to Grace College to learn about the wide diversity of careers surrounding manufacturing.

“The need for qualified candidates for manufacturing positions has gotten even more critical, so we want middle and high school students and their parents to be aware of the many incredible opportunities,” said Nichole Rouached, OrthoWorx manager of communications and projects.

Only a Small Sample

These examples are only a small sample of the diverse ways in which the medical industry is working to recruit and retain different kinds of skilled individuals. For all occupations in the sector overall, the growth rate for health is 2 to 1 over other industries – but there is a great variety of jobs within that general category. Nursing demand, for example, outpaces almost every other job within healthcare overall. Research and development specialists in medical production are another large area of demand.

Thus, talent development in anything relating to medicine is a very broad category. We’re sure to see many kinds of other initiatives emerge over the next few years.



Caption for photo:

A junior computer science and IT major at Trine University works with servers in one of the labs on the university’s main campus in Angola.

Category Features, Health