As the pandemic continues, a wide range of both clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers — physicians, nurses, administrators, technicians and more — are on the front lines, delivering life-saving treatment and support to patients in need. However, those efforts have not come without a price, particularly in terms of mental health.
This obviously poses significant challenges for healthcare employers down the line. How will they respond? Here's the high-level view of what's shaping up in the healthcare space for 2022.
talent in a tailspin
We've all heard about the dramatic effects of the Great Resignation, but the situation in healthcare is especially dire. In fact, the healthcare sector has hemorrhaged nearly half a million workers in total since the start of the global pandemic, according to the BLS, a figure representing something like 18 percent of the total healthcare workforce.
Worse, it appears many front-line healthcare workers aren't just quitting their jobs, but leaving the industry as a whole.
For example, one McKinsey survey found that nearly a quarter of all nurses are considering leaving their current positions — and the majority of them are looking to pursue career paths outside of the industry. From an operational standpoint, preventing this attrition will be the most immediate business priority for healthcare organizations across the country in 2022.
a pandemic within a pandemic
Burnout may not be (technically) contagious, but it's nonetheless spreading like wildfire across the healthcare landscape — and dramatically impacting the health and well-being of this vital workforce. The following two findings are a case in point:
- The majority (55%) of front-line healthcare workers experienced symptoms of burnout — defined as mental and physical exhaustion related to workplace stress — last year, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Notably, too, younger staff members reported experiencing symptoms of burnout at a higher rate than their older peers.
- Meanwhile, the Physicians Foundation 2021 Physician Survey found that 61 percent of physicians experienced symptoms of burnout, 46 percent withdrew or isolated themselves and another 34 percent felt hopeless or purposeless at least once during the last year.
While none of this is good, no matter how you look at it, it does at least lay out a clear mandate for healthcare employers in 2022. Namely, they'll need to make the health and well-being of employees not only a priority, but a core part of how they operate. That means offering more robust resources to all workers, across a variety of touchpoints, from end to end.
Only by doing so can healthcare employers hope to turn the tide of burnout. Not insignificantly, this is also something that nurses themselves have identified as a pressing need.
flexibility reigns supreme in 2022
From telehealth to surgical robotics, the healthcare space as a whole was abuzz with the latest digital innovations in 2021. And while that's certainly not going to end in the year ahead, the impact of new digital tech and tools for healthcare employees should be a critical consideration for organizations everywhere — and one that will come with important implications for employers in 2022.
How so? For starters, healthcare staff members have grown increasingly accustomed to leveraging a wide variety of digitally mediated workforce solutions — portals, flexible scheduling tools and more — over the past year, to the point where they're clamoring for more of that, not less, and employers have a noteworthy incentive to deliver. After all, integrating more digital tools into the workplace should allow healthcare employers to not only operate with greater agility, but reimagine end-to-end delivery models as well.
Employers that don't deliver will quickly lose valuable staff members to their more nimble competitors that do.
strengthening talent pipelines while building skills for the future
While demand for talent has skyrocketed across the healthcare sector, the skill sets and capabilities organizations need is also changing. To help their workforces stay ahead, businesses will need to get proactive, and forward-thinking healthcare organizations would be wise to explore a number of different approaches.
For example, healthcare employers should look to bolster their recruiting pipelines across in-demand clinical roles, leaning on the proven strengths and expertise of strategic talent partners wherever needed — building out new professional development pathways, tapping into hard-to-find talent pools, rolling out training platforms and so on.
Meanwhile, introducing targeted, outcome-oriented upskilling and reskilling programs will go a long way toward helping their mission-critical non-clinical contributors stay up to date with the latest digital tech and tools. For best-in-class healthcare employers, these and similar initiatives should be top of mind.
- The Great Resignation has had particularly powerful implications for employers in the healthcare space — after all, when employees aren't just leaving your company but fleeing your industry, something has clearly gone wrong. In the near term, unfortunately, the overall talent outlook isn't going to change all that much. Expect top-tier talent with the right credentials to become even harder to find.
- Burnout is rampant among healthcare employees, and it's a key factor driving negative talent outcomes for organizations looking to hire. In 2022, rolling out more robust resources — and making them available to all workers, across a variety of touchpoints, from end to end — is going to be the only way to effectively counteract this worrisome trend.
- A spate of new digital tech and tools entered the healthcare space with the onset of the global pandemic, and many of them, especially those that enable greater flexibility and agility in the workforce, are here to stay. In fact, employers that don't deliver these capabilities to staff members will likely lose employees to those that do.
- While healthcare employers across the board will need to bolster their recruiting pipelines, particularly for highly in-demand roles, in 2022, many will find that leaning on the expertise of strategic talent partners is the most effective way to go.
Let's review the salaries for entry-level, mid-level and senior-level positions.
|nurse practitioner||$82,950 - $94,890||$94,890 - $111,675||$111,675 - $130,250|
|physician assistant||$79,165 - $100,996||$100,996 - $115,398||$115,398 - $135,221|
|medical assistant||$26,936 - $30,347||$30,347 - $35,838||$35,838 - $41,288|
|medical lab technician||$31,450 - $39,686||$39,686 - $54,184||$54,184 - $69,638|
|pharmacist||$85,197 - $112,694||$112,694 - $128,710||$128,710 - $147,701|
|pharmacy technician||$29,099 - $35,090||$35,090 - $42,995||$42,995 - $52,054|
|phlebotomy technician||$26,686 - $30,618||$30,618 - $36,317||$36,317 - $42,141|
|surgical technologist||$34,112 - $41,018||$41,018 - $49,712||$49,712 - $60,986|
|case management||$60,320 - $69,984||$69,984 - $87,520||$87,520 - $107,488|
|licensed practical nurse (LPN)||$35,568 - $42,058||$42,058 - $48,818||$48,818 - $57,866|
|outpatient clinic||$55,123 - $64,075||$64,075 - $75,338||$75,338 - $93,579|
|registered nurse (RN)||$55,123 - $69,807||$69,807 - $79,101||$79,101 - $93,579|