Diversity impacts healthcare on many levels, both from the care provider (healthcare professional) and healthcare recipient (consumer) perspectives.
As it relates to the care provider, diversity and inclusion must begin during the recruitment of staff. Organizations need to step back and assess their efforts to ensure that the same opportunities are available to everyone across all aspects of continued education, career advancement as well as personal development and growth. Furthermore, culture, language and religion should also remain key considerations of evaluation.
Healthcare providers function best when they work as and feel like a solidified unit, knowing that each member is valuable and plays a role in the bigger picture. Feeling included as a key member of the team can help invoke a sense of belonging and purpose. Additionally, diversity in healthcare extends to the care of patients as cultural competence is necessary for responding to people of varying backgrounds, recognizing differences, and welcoming respect and value into the healthcare provider and patient relationship.
From the healthcare recipient perspective, it is important that all patients receive adequate, personalized care and support. Questions and barriers to health, such as access to care, affordability of care, ability to maintain treatment of care, culture, and potential language barriers, can exist, and at times be unrecognized by care providers. With certain demographics more susceptible to disease or illness, which has been revealed even more so during COVID-19, having employees that represent the larger population can help make strides in overcoming potential disparities.
So, what is the solution to further diversifying healthcare? While many healthcare organizations have a mission statement that outlines their commitment to diversity, it is important that these statements are put into action. To become more culturally diverse and inclusive, organizations should gain commitment from their senior leadership team, engage all employees in efforts, promote a culture of community and comfort, align efforts with company goals, ward off change resistance, among other tactics.
To further diversify, healthcare organizations may consider focusing their efforts on the recruitment of men in the nursing profession, as well as looking to international nurses, medical technicians, and physicians from across the world. Many international healthcare professionals and international nursing students are interested in creating a career at U.S. hospitals and long-term care facilities and offer many skills, traits, and talents, in addition to helping create a more diverse workforce.
If you are interested in learning how Conexus MedStaff can partner to help source long-term staffing solutions, click here to start workforce planning today.