The Changing Face of Healthcare in the 21st Century

The Changing Face of Healthcare in the 21st Century

The Changing Face of Healthcare in the 21st Century

One of the big pushes within the healthcare industry within the past few decades has been to overcome literally decades of bad press. Of course, the Affordable Care Act is touted as being a means of providing care to all citizens as a basic right, but there is so much more to Obamacare than meets the eye. The entire industry needed to be revamped because the theory was that care was unaffordable to the average person while the care that was ‘affordable’ was often sub-standard. If you could get into a clinic you could afford, the wait time was horrendous. Something needed to be done and Obamacare was going to be the beginning.

Cost-Prohibitive Care Was the Norm

It was commonly held that medicine was priced off the charts and the cost of a Band-Aid, if applied in a hospital, could cost more than a week’s wages for some people. In an effort to change the perception of healthcare in America while providing affordable care to the masses, a huge marketing strategy ensued, but was it successful? The consensus seems to be it wasn’t. Now there is a whole new set of problems that need to be addressed and among them are the serious shortage of qualified medical professionals across all areas of healthcare.

There Always Was a Shortage

One of the things that some marketers have put forward is that due to the Affordable Healthcare Act there is a shortage of healthcare professionals. But in going back over the past few decades, there always was a shortage; it’s just become a crisis in recent times. Affordable medicine really had little to do with this recently renewed interest in the need for more nurses and doctors. It isn’t a cut in pay that made a difference but rather a lack of available educational opportunities.

There was a constant battle between working enough hours to afford advanced education and the time to actually take the classes and study. Recent advances within the educational system has changed all that and there are currently ways to complete those advanced studies at your own pace, without leaving a lucrative job behind.

An Example Carried Forward from the Nursing Profession

In the early years of online education it was referred to as ‘distance education’ and was frowned upon by many employers as being somehow sub-standard. Within the past couple of decades, some of the country’s leading educational institutions like Bradley University located in Peoria, Illinois have adopted an innovative masters of science in nursing online degree program that enables RNs to attain that advanced degree while maintaining a full time job in the field.

Educational Opportunities Were at the Heart of the Problem

What can be understood from all of this is that the shortage of qualified doctors and nurses was caused by the rising cost of education and the few schools that allowed students the ‘luxury’ of making their own hours. While doctors still need to do much of their training in a clinical setting, those nurses striving for a master of science in nursing can complete the entire course online while doing their clinical locally, usually at the hospital at which they are employed.

Online graduate programs have become the new face of healthcare and are making it easier to attain higher levels of education while enabling the student to continue working in a field that is already short-staffed.