I’m about to take some new training professionals onto my team and the process got me thinking about why training matters in healthcare and the importance of non-clinical employees in the industry. In healthcare, there is one focus, the patient, and rightfully so. So, who takes care of the patient? The nurses, physicians, therapists and other clinical staff. When it comes to the employee population, often times, the spotlight is solely on the clinical staff because they take direct care of our patients.
When your touch is as direct and intimate as that of a nurse or physician, your impact is often immediate and clear. There’s no arguing the power of saving a life. So, what role does everyone else in healthcare play in customer service and patient care? I challenge anyone who thinks that they don’t have a role.
I’ve had the absolute privilege of wearing three hats in my healthcare career: human resources (HR), training and information technology (IT). I can connect everything I have done and continue to do in these roles back to patient care. I know how I impact the bottom line and I want my soon-to-be training team to understand what their role really means in achieving the mission of our organization.
As an HR professional, my job is to make sure that employees receive appropriate pay and benefits, that they have avenues for support with workplace issues and that they get to work in a safe and engaging environment. As an IT professional, it is my job to provide functional and innovative technology, the appropriate support for that technology and the relevant guidance needed to make the best possible technical decisions for operations. As a training professional, my job is to offer clear and accurate education, effective evaluation of competencies and continued learning support to employees. All of these things allow our clinical staff to focus on the most important thing in our organization: taking care of our patients.
Ultimately, I do what I do so that the employees I serve can best serve their customers and patients. If non-clinical employees do not receive the proper tools and investments to do their jobs well, clinical staff will end up frustrated that they have to focus on things like slow computers, complicated HR policies and accountability without training. Then, patient care is no longer at the forefront for these employees. However, if we value our non-clinical staff enough to empower them to make great decisions and do great work, they can make sure that the patient is always front and center.
As leaders, we should never diminish the value of our non-clinical staff and as non-clinical staff, we should always understand the important role we play in patient care and think about how to best serve our customers: the employees who take care of those patients. With support for and investment in both clinical and non-clinical staff, the employee and patient experiences become stronger, better and more valuable.