The efforts of humanity towards building a healthy community is as old as humanity itself. Civilization has many achievements as well as faced setbacks throughout the journey. The knowledge of public health after the renaissance and the initiatives after that helped shape the modern philosophy of health. In this regard, public health professionals have become front line warriors in providing quality health services to the population. Medical and technological innovations have enabled fast service delivery by health care professionals. However, while today is a time of growth, it also has allowed new challenges for this professional workforce. The medical field is facing its fair share of hurdles and challenges. While innovations promise to change the course of the profession entirely, it will take some time for advancements to reach full potential.
While changes are monumental, they will take effect at a moderate pace. During that progress, countless challenges will become a part of that progress too. Here are some key challenges health care professionals face today.
CHALLENGE NO 1: LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES
The most crucial challenge faced by health care professionals and the whole industry is lack of advancement opportunities. This challenge is most noticeable for nursing staff who lack opportunities for progress in their current or previous positions. Surveys in this regard asked various professionals about training and skill-building offered by their employers. The answer to such studies is disappointingly low. On the other hand, employers answered that they provide skill-building opportunities to their staff. Whatever the case, the challenge of adequate opportunities remains a significant challenge for healthcare professionals today.
CHALLENGE NO 2: PREPARING FOR EPIDEMICS
When it comes to epidemics or disease outbreaks, health care professionals need to remain vigilant as millions of lives are at risk. Preparing and training professionals to handle outbreaks is also a challenge today. Whether it is a new strain resistant to vaccines or the spread of common viral diseases like flu, health care professionals need proper training and adequate equipment to stay ahead of the curve. Moreover, they need to learn more about extensive health care practices that can handle such outbreaks to some extent. The healthcare industry needs to invest in its professional workforce to prepare them and take preventive measures for health care structure.
CHALLENGE NO 3: ALCOHOL-RELATED ISSUES
Approximately a death count of up to 80,000 annually in the United States is due to excessive alcohol consumption. The short-term risks of alcohol include injuries during driving, suicides, sexual assaults, poisoning, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Long-term effects include liver and digestive problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung failure, addiction, social and mental health issues. Health care professionals always have their hands full of causes related to alcoholics, which has become a significant challenge for both health care professionals and allocated resources.
CHALLENGE NO 4: HEALTH TRANSITIONS
Health transition means changes in health that follows an indefinite pattern over a period. It includes changes in disease patterns, disabilities, and variation in responses to health conditions. Health transitions have become more complicated today. Infectious diseases that were dominant in the past are getting replaced by new, more impactful viral terms with major epidemiologic profiles. An added challenge in this aspect is counter transition in which transitions do not always get directed from communicable or non-communicable diseases.
CHALLENGE NO 5: WORKLOAD AND ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
Work overload and poor salaries have become a significant challenge for healthcare professionals, especially for the ones related to nursing services. More than half of healthcare professionals take on responsibilities above their comfort level. It increases the chance of potential stress and anxiety and, in the worst cases, burnout. Poor perception of an organization is a challenge to the consideration of the needs from higher authorities for amendments and changes. Health care professionals are indeed our first line of defense against health issues, and as such, they need proper working conditions to operate correctly.
CHALLENGE NO 6: INVESTING IN HEALTH CARE WORKERS
Health care professionals in the US and worldwide are often underpaid and overworked that has led to a global shortage. It has placed both the people and the health care system at risk. Lack of investment in the health care force is a requirement to keep the health care system in operation. As an estimate, a need of over 18 million health care professionals will come forward by 2030.
CHALLENGE NO 7: LIMITED ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
Even though health care technologies have evolved, organizations still struggle for implementation because of which health care professionals suffer. A significant part of the healthcare workforce feels that their limited access to technology is what holds them from attaining their full potential. Around half of them think that the organization refuses adequate training to handle such equipment. This factor plays a significant role in handling diseases posing threats all over the world.
The evolution in technology and innovations have brought us much convenience but at the same time, also increased challenges. Health care professionals are now facing more complex diseases, and for that, they need the problems mentioned above rectified. If professionals feel overburdened and stressed, the complete health care system will collapse, which in turn affects communities all over the world.