Women leaders are needed to rescue healthcare…

On every level, women have an opportunity to step up to lead healthcare out of the crisis that it is in. 

If you are a professional of any kind, you may find your skills are valuable as healthcare agencies struggle past the coronavirus crisis. This isn’t about the job you have now, however. It’s much more about the job you could have if you plan for the future.

Even before COVID-19, healthcare has been on a roller coaster.  Now the coronavirus has forced some healthcare businesses and nonprofits into closure. This is definitely a time where women leaders are needed more than ever.

Yet women are often the ones out of work. Maybe this describes you. Or maybe you are afraid your job will blow away with the economy. Healthcare is definitely where you should be headed, and you don’t have to be a nurse or doctor to be involved. Women should be anticipating these new jobs in a post-pandemic world. 

Get ready for the new wave

While jobs may be declining now, the need for healthcare leadership is expected to take a sharp uptick. As caregivers, women are uniquely poised to understand the challenges that the healthcare industry is facing and will face as it struggles through the next months or years. You probably know more about it than you think.

While we may want to just watch Netflix, this shouldn’t be idle time. This is the time to tune up your skills, learn as much as you can about public health issues, and make new contacts for a future job search. If you are a mom, while your kids are doing their homework, you can be doing yours. If you are working two jobs, you may have to sacrifice some down time. The rest of us really don’t have an excuse. We’ve got the time. We’ve got to use it wisely.

That may seem like a tall order, but it’s easier than you think. There are many accurate sources of healthcare news.  Free courses are being offered by many institutions. Social networking has never been easier with LinkedIn and Facebook. If you just dedicate an hour every day to learning and networking, you may be ready for the job when it becomes available. 

The post-Covid world

The healthcare industry may soon be overrun with more work than they can handle. The evidence?  Once the virus is put in its place and everyone can go back to normal, there will be a huge influx of patients seeking elective procedures and surgeries.  There will be a big surge in patients who need treatment for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and the many other plagues of American life.  

This will be the result of deferred treatment. You are probably one of those people, waiting to go to the doctor when it’s safer to get out and about. Many of us are doing this, and it’s not entirely a bad thing if we are basically healthy.

The thing is, sick patients aren’t seeing their primary care doctors. They are losing momentum in their quest to control disease, and/or aren’t getting a timely diagnosis for any new chronic illnesses.  

So demand will be great. Money may be tighter than ever. Budget shortfalls are occurring due to the sharp decrease in elective procedures and surgeries. COVID-19 has forced hospitals to furlough some workers and overwork others. 

On top of that, and this is where women’s leadership really comes into play, there is low morale among healthcare professionals. On the one hand, you have doctors, nurses, and administrators who are overworked and often underpaid.  Then you have many other healthcare workers who are demoralized by layoffs and closings.  

As things start to get better, however, there will be jobs in the healthcare field again. Not just doctors and nurses. These are all kinds of professionals, from bookkeepers to marketing reps.

Rising to the new challenges

Healthcare leadership will have to be ready to meet each of these challenges. Even with a large number of the public unemployed or underemployed, it may be hard to attract the talent that will drive the healthcare business or nonprofit forward.  That’s why it’s important for us, as women, to position ourselves for these jobs.

Executive recruitment research is needed more than ever by the firms that will do the hiring. This will be true regardless of who is looking for hires. From the smallest to the largest, from the most independent to the most corporate, every healthcare agency is being affected by this crisis. 

Your research and networking will help you prove yourself to a healthcare industry that desperately needs creative thinkers who are also knowledgeable and hard-working.  It may mean fewer binge sessions of your favorite shows, but it will be worth it professionally and personally.

Women leadership in healthcare could make all the difference in creating a better world. That should be seen as a challenge to individual women who could fill those jobs. 

It’s time to get ready and be ahead of the curve.  

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