Category Archives: Healthcare Employment

3 Required Skills for Successful Healthcare Candidates

Finding, interviewing, and hiring the right person is challenging.  Since most healthcare staff directly deal with patients, managers want to hire candidates who are caring, efficient, and effective.  These types of employees help patients feel cared for, and they ensure that clinical operations flow smoothly.  Although different roles may require credentials, this list includes skills that are applicable to all positions in healthcare.
Communication: Communication patterns can be identified after a manager’s first connection with a candidate.  Some things to notice include: grammar and punctuation (in emails), timeliness in response (both to emails and phone calls), and overall communication style.
During phone screens and in-person interviews, managers should pay attention to the candidate’s communication style. Notice if they are able to explain things in a logical pattern.  Ask the candidate to clarify a few of their answers.  Note if they become flustered.
Managers should ask about the candidate’s ability to communicate under pressure.  Often, healthcare staff work with upset patients and family members.  The strongest candidates will have a demonstrated track record of effectively communicating in calm and escalated situations.
Detail-Oriented:  Many managers consider this phrase to be generic. Yet they still need to identify candidates who can work with details successfully.  Instead of asking if someone is detail-oriented, ask about being meticulous or precise.
Successful healthcare exists in the details, and staff must be able to adapt. Providers need to complete comprehensive exams, and write chart notes with precise information. Medical assistants, nurses, and additional staff must be meticulous about gathering the necessary information to assist in patient care.
Situational awareness:  Managers want to hire candidates who easily notice changes in their environment.  Front desk staff need to notice when a patient needs assistance.  Clinic staff should be able to quickly react when asked for assistance.  All staff should be able to react in urgent situations.
During interviews and reference checks, managers should ask how the candidate reacts to changing situations.  Specifically, is the candidate able to shift focus easily?  Or does it take them some time before appropriately reacting?
Conclusion: Successful healthcare employees communicate effectively (especially under pressure), operate precisely, and notice the world around them.  Hiring managers should look for candidates who hold these skills, because they are more likely to be able to adapt and succeed in these roles.

3 Medical Specialties That Need Trained Providers

Nationally, there is a practitioner shortage and healthcare needs are increasing.  Between 2014 and 2024, the need for physicians and surgeons is projected to rise 14%.  The need for physician assistants will grow 30%, and nurse practitioners will increase 31%.  Simultaneously, almost 40% of the American population (i.e. the Baby Boomer generation) is aging and increasing the demand on the current healthcare system.  Political uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act and a future replacement are beginning to drive changes within the industry.

Empty Hospital

Demand for trained medical providers has always been high, and continues to increase.  While specific demands will vary by region, here are some medical specialties that need providers in nearly every community.

Primary Care (including family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics)
Today’s healthcare system increasingly relies on the primary care provider to coordinate a patient’s care.  These providers write referrals to specialty care, and help patients navigate a complex healthcare system.  While the primary care provider role is critically important, communities in every state do not have enough providers.

According to information from the Health Professional Shortage Areas website, over 8,000 more primary care providers are needed to resolve the healthcare shortage areas in states across the country.   Some states have a greater need for primary care providers while other (smaller states) have a diminished need.  Primary care providers routinely take the first place title for the most important and sought after provider type.

Today, the demand for psychiatrists is huge.  Some experts suggest that psychiatry is the second biggest provider need behind primary care.  Other sources state that it’s the third biggest need.  Regardless, the shortage of (and demand for) trained psychiatrists is significant.

Although distressing now, the psychiatrist shortage will become more severe over the next decade. One study quoted in Forbes revealed that 60% of psychiatrists engaged in active patient care are ages 55 or older.  With many of these providers nearing retirement, needs in this field is projected to increase substantially.

Hospitalists are medical doctors who care for patients who are currently hospitalized.  They are aware of the unique aspects of a hospitalized patient’s stay, and are often more available than doctors who have other areas of practice.

With increasing demands on the healthcare system, the need for trained medical providers spans all specialties.  Although each source ranks the most in-demand roles differently, primary care providers, psychiatrists, and hospitalists are routinely needed throughout the system.

Continue reading >

Practitioner Shortages and Demand: a Summary

Today, some communities are already feeling the effects of the national shortage of trained medical providers. For example, in Josephine County, Oregon, there is only 1 doctor per 486 people. While most communities don’t have such dire numbers, many patients have to wait longer or travel further to get medical care. Regionally and nationally, communities and healthcare organizations are partnering together to take steps to ensure local access to care.

These six interesting facts begin to explain the complexities of provider shortages.

  • Fluctuating costs, technological advances, legislative changes, and an aging population all impact today’s healthcare system.Costs are frequently connected to advances in technology, insurance requirements, and legislative changes.As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the needs and demands placed on the healthcare system are systemically increasing.All of these factors have shaped today’s healthcare industry and impact the discussion of provider demands and shortages.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for physicians and surgeons will grow 14% percent between 2014 and 2024.
  • Between 2014 and 2024, the need for physician assistants will increase 30% and the need for nurse practitioners will grow 31%.
  • The United States Department of Health and Human Services tracks the provider shortage areas using the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) database.This database tracks provider shortages in primary care, dental care, and mental health on a scale of 0-26.Lower scores indicate fewer shortages.Higher scores indicate increased shortages.
  • Some counties in Washington rank as high as 25 out of 26 on the HPSA scales.Most communities and states need more trained healthcare providers.
  • Primary care providers are routinely needed in every area of the country. Using HPSA data, the Kaiser Family Foundation identified primary care needs by state. Delaware had the fewest primary care HPSA areas with 9.California had the most with 607 primary care HPSA areas.Washington has 155 primary care HPSA areas.

Healthcare is rapidly changing and growing. Eventually, each community will need to address the issue of practitioner shortages. While there are national trends, each region will have a unique experience based on their individual factors. Understanding the shortages is an important first step to address provider demand and how organizations can recruit trained healthcare providers. Continue reading >

What is a Medical Assistant?

Throughout the healthcare industry, staff and providers rely on medical assistants for their versatile knowledge and skills.  Found in both inpatient and outpatient settings, medical assistants support patient care clinically and administratively.

Medical AssistantWhat is the role of a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are an important part of the healthcare team.  They work closely with providers to complete assigned patient care tasks, and responsibilities vary depending on organizational needs.  In smaller healthcare offices, medical assistants schedule patient appointments, coordinate referrals, obtain insurance authorizations, room patients, request medical records, and assist in recording patient information into charts.  In larger organizations, medical assistants may have a more narrow scope of responsibilities.  Specialized clinics may require that a staff member focuses on a specific skill set.

Medical assistants work in a fluid environment, and staff must quickly adapt to changing needs. Even if there are multiple medical assistants, they may have separate responsibilities. Some staff may be expected to master a complex set of circumstances—like working on a procedure team.  Other staff may be responsible for making sure that patients are promptly roomed and paperwork is completed.  All medical assistants are available to assist patients by answering questions and solving problems.

Generally, medical assistants can room patients, take vital signs, record patient history, prepare samples for the lab, and record medical information into charts.  As appropriate, medical assistants also help physicians with appointments.  These staff members are also usually responsible for communicating updates after the patient has been roomed.

What are the Washington State Requirements?
Medical assistants in Washington must be licensed through the Washington State Department of Health. To be eligible for licensure, applicants need to complete a medical assistant training program.  Candidates should have completed a program that is offered or accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP.)  Programs with local or regional accreditations can be counted as long as the accrediting organization is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Candidates can also be eligible if they have completed an apprenticeship program administered by the state.
Candidates who have completed an appropriate program are eligible to sit for one of four certifying exams.

  • Certified Medical Assistant Exam through the American Association of Medical Assistants
  • Registered Medical Assistant Exam through American Medical Technologists
  • Clinical Medical Assistant Exam through National Health Career Association
  • National Certified Medical Assistant Exam through the National Center for Competency Testing

Additionally, candidates must also have completed high school, have proficiency in English, and complete HIV/AIDS training. Candidates must submit all required materials for review by the Washington State Department of Health.  After review, the department will follow up with the candidate about the status of their application.

How to Become a Medical Assistant. United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 17 December 2015,  Accessed February 27, 2017.
Medical Assistants. United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 17 December 2015,  Accessed February 27, 2017.
Medical Assistant—Certified or Interim Certification Requirements. Washington State Department of Health, Accessed February 27, 2017.

8 Simple Ways To Recognize Your Employees

Employee recognition programs are designed to make it easier for managers to acknowledge staff successes. By praising accomplishments, these programs aim to retain employees. When someone leaves a job, it costs the business between 16-200% of the employee’s salary to fill the vacancy.  These replacement costs are tied to the employee’s salary, which means that the highest earners are harder to replace.  Since recognition is a helpful way to minimize turnover, here are some ideas to help managers recognize their employees.

  1. Ask new employees how they prefer to be recognized and what they like to do outside of work. Record this information in their employee file.When it is time to recognize this employee, choose a method that’s consistent with what they originally told you.Other options—while appreciated—may be less impactful.
  2. Verbal recognition:  Simply saying thank you is a great start.  Then take the time to specifically describe the positive impact of their work.
  3. Verbal recognition with an audience:  If an employee’s actions positively impacted the larger organization, announce their success at a meeting.
  4. Written recognition:  Writing a card or email to an employee gives them the opportunity to revisit the kind words later.
  5. Gift:  There are a lot of possibilities here.  Some managers have gift cards and movie tickets.  Other organizations offer branded items (like reusable shopping bags and water bottles) for managers to give away for recognition reasons. If recognition items are not provided by an employee recognition program, there may be room in the budget to purchase items to have on hand.
  6. Time off: People love getting extra time off, whether it’s the day or simply the afternoon.
  7. Free meal:  Everyone loves a free meal.  Before offering this option, determine the employee has any dietary restrictions.  Pick an appropriate place and take your employee to lunch.
  8. Meetings with executive level managers: This option can only be offered if the organization’s highest leaders are dedicated to spending time with employees.  Since this is not true for many leaders, it is important to determine this prior to offering to an employee.

Recognition programs were created to foster an appreciative workplace that celebrates successes.  After all, retaining employees is easier than replacing them.  There are countless ways to recognize employees.  Use these 8 ideas as inspiration.  Take what works, and feel free to leave disregard the rest.

Merhar, Christina.  Employee Retention: The Real Cost of Losing An Employee. Zane Benefits, 2016 February 4, Accessed March 25, 2017.
Recognizing And Rewarding Your Staff. Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences Human Resources Department, Accessed March 25, 2017.

Nurses Needed In These 5 Health Care Settings


Employment for these nursing roles is projected to grow much faster than average until the mid-2020s. In addition to inpatient roles, nurses can work in outpatient clinics, schools, community health centers, nursing homes, home health options, palliative care, and correctional centers.

Outpatient clinics allow nurses to work deeply in a specific specialty.  Nurses who already have (or who want to build) in-depth knowledge about medical specialty will be attracted to these roles.

Schools also need nurses to care for ill students. Job requirements will vary.  Some school nurses work full time; some work part time.  They may work in one location or rotate between neighboring schools.  In these environments, nurses will typically work with pediatric or adolescent patients.

Nursing homes offer the opportunity to work with patients who need varying levels of care.  Some patients may be long-term residents who need assistance with all of their activities of daily living.  Others may be short-term residents who are recovering from an injury or illness.  Since many patients are elderly, nurses interested in geriatric care may gravitate toward these roles.

Home health nurses travel to patient’s homes to assist them on a temporary or permanent basis. Some patients may need short-term care while recovering from an injury or acute illness.  Others may need ongoing care to help with chronic conditions or disabilities.  Since they visit patient’s homes, palliative care nurses are also considered home health nurses.

Correctional center nurses are responsible for intake screenings and medical care for inmates.  Within correctional centers, nurses see patients who have acute and chronic medical conditions.  Due to the close proximity of inmates, outbreaks of disease are common.  On a daily basis, nurses may also be responsible for administering medications as needed.  Care coordination between providers is another part of the nursing role, particularly when someone is being released.

Nurses fill a range of roles in any setting.  Inpatient nurses help patients who are currently admitted to the hospital.  Outpatient nurses get to work in-depth within a particular medical specialty.  School nurses typically work with pediatric populations in one or more locations.  Nursing home nurses care for patients who need varying levels of assistance.  Home health nurses visit patients in their homes on a temporary or ongoing basis.  Correctional center nurses care for incarcerated patients and help coordinate their care. Each setting offers a different set of challenges for nurses to conquer as they care for specific patient populations.

Correctional Facility Nursing. Minority Nurse, 7 February 2016, Accessed January 31, 2017.
Giang, Vivian. Jailhouse Doctor Shares What It’s Like To Care For The Most Dangerous People In the World. Business Insider, 20 March 2013, Accessed January 31, 2017.
Registered Nurses. United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 17 December 2015, Accessed January 31, 2017.

The Role of the Social Worker

See Social Worker Openings Here!

Social workers play an important role on care teams, because they can do psychosocial assessments for patients.  Often these assessments identify outstanding challenges that a patient is facing.  Then social workers can work collaboratively with the patient and provider to provide guidance and education to improve patient experience and outcome. For those who do not regularly work with medical social workers, here is an overview of their role.

Social Worker

What Settings Do They Work In?
Depending on the organization, social workers can be found in outpatient and inpatient settings.  One social worker may be on staff at a clinic with a vulnerable population.  Other social workers may work with a variety clinics to support patients as they move between departments.  Precise staffing of social workers depends on the needs throughout the individual health care organization.  Nursing homes also have social workers who support the facility residents and their families throughout their stay.

What Do They Do?
Usually, social workers only see the patients who have been referred to them.  During the first conversation with a patient, a social worker typically does a psychosocial assessment.  The results of this assessment help to determine what support the patient needs from the social worker.  Although patients will need different levels of support, social workers will usually assist with care coordination and behavioral health services.

Care coordination needs vary.  Some patients will seek continuing care within the same organization.  Others will return to their established provider.  Another group of patients will need to identify new providers to transition care to.  While specifics differ, social workers can help coordinate a patient’s care in each of these scenarios.  When needed, they will guide the patient through the organization’s medical records release process.  Additionally social workers may contact outside organizations to discuss a patient’s medical care or identify appropriate providers to transition care to.

After an initial assessment, a social worker may offer continuing behavioral health services to a patient depending on their needs.  As a part of an interdisciplinary medical team, social workers will work collaboratively with other providers to identify and address issues that need continuing support.

What’s Their Educational Background?
Social workers in health care settings typically have a master’s degree in social work.  To provide clinical care, they must be licensed with the state’s department of health.


By providing psychosocial assessments, social workers can identify challenges and support a patient as they navigate the health care system.  The insights from a medical social worker can help patients achieve better outcomes.

Healthcare Social Workers. United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30 March 2016, Accessed February 10, 2017.
Medical Social Work. Wikipedia, 7 December 2016, Accessed February 11, 2017.
Social Workers. United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 December 2015, Accessed February 11, 2017.
Social Work Profession. National Association of Social Workers, Accessed February 11, 2017.

Community Highlight: Enumclaw

Enumclaw, WA

Located in Western Washington, Enumclaw is 25 miles north Mount Rainier National Park and 41 miles northwest of Crystal Mountain. Given this location, hiking, camping, and more are easily accessible for Enumclaw residents.  Enumclaw 40 miles southeast of Seattle and 309 miles southwest of Spokane. It’s also 171 miles north of Portland.


Although the first settlers in the region arrived in the 1850s, Enumclaw was founded in 1879 by Frank and Mary Stevenson.  Early residents called it Stevensonville, until the couple declined the name. The city was officially incorporated in January 1913.

In 2010, the U.S. Census listed the population of Enumclaw as 10,669.  2015 population estimates list  the current population as 11,609.

The Enumclaw Public School District has 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school. Green River Community College also has a campus in Enumclaw.

In the 1880s and 1890s, the city relied on hops production for a sizable chunk of the economy.  When the crop failed in the 1890s, residents moved toward dairy farming which continues to make up a significant part the economy.  The most common industries in Enumclaw’s current economy include construction, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

Enumclaw has a mild climate.  Average summer temperatures range from the mid-40s to the high 70s.  Average winter temperatures range from the low 30s to the mid-40s.  Monthly precipitation peaks around November with an average of 8 inches.  On the other hand, mid-July only averages about 1.5 inches of precipitation.

Enumclaw is nestled between Crystal Mountain, Mount Rainier National Park, Mud Mountain Dam, and Nolte State Park.  With all of these outdoor locations, Enumclaw residents have easy access to a variety of outdoor activities.  Hiking, biking, and more are offered at the dam and the parks.  During the winter, Crystal Mountain offers skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing.

Enumclaw hosts two annual events in July.  The King County Fair has a variety of attractions including competitions, rides, and booths.  The Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games  includes music, games, arts, and a dog show.

Enumclaw’s proximity to parks–and its mild climate–mean that residents have unending opportunities for outdoor adventure.  Those who are looking for a unique experience can test out the Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland games, which draws many visitors to the area.   Since it’s only a few hours from Seattle, Spokane, and Portland, Enumclaw offers the chance to live outside of the city without being too far away.  Make the time to explore and see what captures your imagination first.

Resources “Enumclaw, Washington.” ( retrieved October 12, 2016.

City of Enumclaw. “King County Fair 2016.” ( retrieved October 13, 2016.

City of Enumclaw. “Visitor Information.” ( retrieved October 12, 2016.

Enumclaw School District. “Headlines.” ( retrieved October 12, 2016.

Seattle Scottish Highland Games Association. “70th Annual Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering.” ( retrieved October 13, 2016.

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. “Mud Mountain Dam.” ( retrieved October 13, 2016.

Washington State Parks. “Nolte State Park.” ( retrieved October 13, 2016.
Wikipedia. “Enumclaw, Washington.” September 26, 2016. (,_Washington) retrieved October 12, 2016.

Introduction to the Kadlec Clinic and the Tri-Cities

The 26 locations of the Kadlec Clinic provide important primary and specialty medical care throughout 7 southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon communities.  Centered in the Tri-Cities area, the organization operates clinics in Richland, Kennewick, Pasco, Pendleton, Hermiston, Prosser, and West Richland. Over the past 70 years, the Kadlec Clinic has grown and adapted to the community’s changing needs.

The Kadlec Clinic has a mission to provide quality healthcare by practicing its core tenets of integrity, cooperation, and respect.

Medical Specialties
Kadlec Clinic offers clinical care in 20 different specialties including pediatrics, gastroenterology, primary care, genetic counseling, and more.

In the 1940s, the Kadlec Clinic was created as a government-run medical facility.  Originally operated by the Atomic Energy Commission, the clinic offered medical care to the government workers of the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reactor project. Within one year of opening, the organization renamed itself after Lieutenant Colonel Henry R. Kadlec, a lead engineer in the Hanford Project, who was also the first person to die in the hospital.

In 1956, the government gave local citizens control over the facility’s future.  After a community vote the Kadlec Clinic became a self-run organization.  For the first time in its history, the Kadlec Clinic could care for everyone–not just government workers.  Throughout its history, the Kadlec Clinic has adapted to meet the changing needs of the growing Tri-Cities community.

Tri-Cities Highlights
Located in southeastern Washington, the cities of Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco combine to create the Tri-Cities.  In 2010 the population of the Tri-Cities was 253,340 people. In 2016 the state government estimated that the population was 279,170.  The work completed at the Hanford Nuclear Reactor played a significant role in population growth during World War II.

Hanford Reach National Monument offers a hiking, sightseeing, wildlife, and more. Winters typically range between the low 20s to the high 40s. Summer temperatures range from the low 50s to the high 80s.  The region averages 5-7 inches of precipitation each year.

Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco each operate their own public school districts.  Columbia Basin College and Washington State University offer post-secondary education.

Having begun as a government medical facility, the history of the Kadlec Clinic is closely linked to the history of the surrounding area. Each time the Tri-Cities changed, the clinic adapted as well.  It will be interesting to watch how the healthcare organization and its surrounding area continue to evolve over time. “Richland, Washington.” ( retrieved December 9, 2016.

Kadlec Clinic. ( retrieved December 7, 2016.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife. “About Hanford Reach.” May 21, 2013. ( retrieved December 9, 2016.

Wikipedia. “Tri-Cities, Washington.” November 24, 2016. (,_Washington) retrieved December 8, 2016.

Why Choose a Career in Healthcare Marketing?

For the past few years, experts have been desperately trying to draw attention to the fact that the healthcare industry often lacks good marketing. As something that is often seen as an essential part of life, there are many healthcare businesses which may feel that marketing is not something that they need to pay much attention to, simply because their patients cannot do without the service. However, with competition growing to be fiercer than ever before within the healthcare industry, it’s essential for even the most basic and necessary of medical services to practice good marketing skills and strategies in order to not only attract new patients but build good relationships with existing customers. We’ve listed some of the best reasons to get into a marketing career in healthcare.

Job Opportunities

One of the main reasons to choose the healthcare industry to work in as a marketer is the wide range of job opportunities available. With more and more healthcare professionals starting their own businesses every year, your skills as a qualified marketer with experience in the healthcare industry will always be needed, guaranteeing plenty of work whether you decide to work on an employed or freelance basis. To get started with your healthcare marketing career, you can take a college course such as an online bachelor of science in marketing, and then go on to learn more specifically about marketing healthcare products and services.

Career Progression

Working in the healthcare industry has a lot of opportunities for promotion and progression, even if you work on the marketing side of things rather than caring for patients. As a good marketer, you are very beneficial to businesses in the healthcare industry as it is you who comes up with and puts in place ideas and strategies to attract new customers and build existing patient relations. Many healthcare businesses are finding that in order to succeed they need to dedicate more time, effort and man power into marketing, meaning that an increasing number of managerial and senior healthcare marketing positions are likely to become available in the future.

Bring Healthcare Marketing Up to Date

Statistics from only this year show that healthcare marketing is still behind, particularly in the area of digital marketing which is a hugely important part of marketing almost any business in the digital age of today. By qualifying as a marketer by taking a marketing degree online, you can help to transform the future of healthcare marketing and bring it up to date by working to improve the use of digital marketing and other modern marketing strategies in your role.

Make a Difference

Marketing healthcare products or services can be very different from anything else that you have created a marketing campaign for in the past. When you work in healthcare marketing, you can use your skills and knowledge to help make a difference in the lives of others by reaching out to people who are in need.

If you are interested in working in marketing, there are many reasons to choose a career in the healthcare industry.