How healthcare education must evolve: 3 clinicians weigh in

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, governing bodies and organizations have revised criteria, documents, policies and guidelines to include precautions against the virus. Healthcare is constantly evolving, but is health education keeping pace? 

Actively practicing physicians and nurses shared with Becker's what they wish they had learned in medical school and how they believe healthcare and medical education should evolve in the future: 

Tom Chiller, MD. Chief of Mycotic Diseases Branch at the CDC: I do think you know, that we need to continue to educate, do more to talk about these fungal organisms. They're here to stay. They are emerging. They're going to be tough to treat. The good news is for the first time in a couple of decades, there are some new classes of drugs that are getting close to coming out, and so we definitely need to be educating clinicians about looking at that exciting pipeline.

I feel like as a physician you'd approach fungi with more comfort than you might if you only have a little bit of information about it. So, more knowledge and education around fungi, I think would be important.

Janelle Sokolowich, PhD, MSN. Academic Vice President and Dean of the Leavitt School of Health at Western Governors University (Salt Lake City) : In the future I think nursing will continue to have more integration of virtual reality simulations. So far with [the implementation of] our simulation experience, we've found that one part of simulation that does really well is building the self-confidence in students' abilities. … We know that we have to continue to build confidence in order to build clinical decision-making ability. 

So I think we're going to continue to see virtual reality and simulation use, but in ways that we've never seen before. I do not think that we ever remove the human component. The human component will always be there. We will always need students to have the ability to connect with patients, to communicate with patients, to hold a hand. Those are the things that we can't really teach in school they have to experience, and that is what makes the best practitioner and those connections are actually what keeps people in the field.

Patti Artley, DSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Medical Solutions and Former Chief Nursing Officer at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston): When we were bringing in new graduates, where they struggled the most was with that ability to have conversations and really be able to work with the patients and the families in a very compassionate way. And that's what they said they were stressed about. So I think we have to constantly be evolving our nursing education, and I think we have to be creative.

We have many colleges that are really thinking outside the box and partnering with hospitals to really serve in a different way. I think one of the things that hospitals have to really be working on for their part is how do they expand the number of clinical sites to secure that in-person training for students and thinking about how to help there, because some university partners are struggling to get clinical sites.


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