August 22nd, 2011
Even in today’s digital age, there’s plenty of truth in the old saying, “It’s not what you know - it’s who you know.” If you’re a candidate looking for a position in the healthcare industry, it’s important to identify people who can open a few doors for you. A family member, friend, neighbor or business associate may be able to provide a referral to a local hospital, physician’s office, medical laboratory or other provider.
The same principle holds true in the world of temporary staffing. Firms like All Medical Personnel get a steady stream of strong candidates based on referrals from current and past employees. In fact, a survey of contingent workers by Staffing Industry Analysts found that person-to-person referrals ranked as the top method of how temporary workers learned about their staffing agency.
Here are some suggestions for job candidates to create that referral:
- Make a list of possible employers. This could be the larger hospitals in town, nearby medical offices or a temporary staffing agency.
- Start a second list of people you know who work in the healthcare area. Don’t just think about nurses and doctors, because hospitals and labs also employ engineers, IT specialists, accountants and bill collectors. Any one of those people could point you in the right direction.
- Let your contacts know you are looking for a position. Pick up the phone, send out an email or mention your plans at a family gathering. Even if those people don’t work in the industry, chances are good they know someone else who’s employed by a healthcare organization.
Finally, consider taking a temporary position to get your foot in the door. Traditionally, this strategy has been one of the best ways to gain a full-time permanent position. After all, there’s no better referral source than someone who has seen you working in the same organization!
August 8th, 2011
A steady flow of patient revenue is vital to most hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. In some cases, private-pay patients do more than their share in helping to maintain a healthy balance sheet.
However, a recent public health study in Arizona indicates that many patients are having problems paying their medical and prescription drug bills. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that even families with insurance coverage were incurring high levels of debt, related to their medical care. Patricia M. Herman, ND, PhD, the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy researcher who directed the study, said that medical debt is better predictor than insurance status as to whether or not people will delay needed medical care.
The study noted that 60 percent of all bankruptcies are related to medical costs, including individuals and families who had private insurance. While the 2010 healthcare reform bill did put “weak” caps on out-of-pocket expenses, the problem with medical debt was likely to continue, the study said, since insurance was not enough to cover the costs of a serious health issue.
In addition, many families faced with rising insurance premiums are having to review their coverage limits as well - putting themselves at higher risk of contracting a large medical debt in the future. A recent Center for Public Integrity report outlined how premium increases continue to cut into employees’ wages.
For healthcare organizations, the take-away is clear: a large segment of private-pay patients will continue to face financial difficulties. That makes it vital for providers to track their receivables, and stay in touch with patients who begin to fall behind in their payments.
August 1st, 2011
If you’re looking at job opportunities in healthcare, consider a career in nursing. A number of studies point to a potential shortage over the next decade as aging Baby Boomers require more medical care. In addition, the passage of healthcare reform last year - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 - will provide more than 32 million Americans with greater access to healthcare services.
A recent report on “The Future of Nursing,” prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the Institute of Medicine called for an 80 percent increase in the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees. Another group looking for solutions to the projected shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) is the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), which is working with schools, government leaders and healthcare organizations to increase college enrollment.
Clearly, hospitals, clinics, physician groups and other healthcare organizations will be seeking nurses at every level of training and education. Many newcomers to the field begin with a two-year licensed practical nurse (LPN) degree, and then go on to become and RN or earn a graduate degree.
In any case, nursing can offer a rewarding people-oriented career with flexible scheduling to meet almost any lifestyle. There are many different specializations within nursing, from pediatrics to geriatric care, with opportunities to grow and take on new assignments. If you are ready to begin a career in nursing - or if you’re looking for a new role - All Medical Personnel can help you take that next step. Contact our nationwide recruiting team for more information.
July 18th, 2011
If you’re looking for a professional job in 2011, the healthcare sector may be one of your best bets. Unlike other areas of the U.S. economy, hospitals, physician groups, medical laboratories and related service providers are adding a substantial number of new positions this year.
Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the healthcare sector added 37,000 new jobs in March, the biggest monthly increase recorded by any employment sector. And that figure wasn’t a statistical fluke. According to the BLS, 283,000 new jobs have been created in healthcare in the past year.
Even better, from the standpoint of a job candidate, is that the BLS expects that trend to continue into the future. Several million more jobs are projected to be added in the coming decade, as healthcare organizations staff up to serve the nation’s growing population of aging Baby Boomers. Other factors propelling the job growth include greater access to health insurance coverage, a renewed emphasis on wellness and preventive care services and the continuing evolution of healthcare technology.
So, now is a good time to consider what personal skills and experience you could bring to a healthcare organization as a nurse, therapist, pharmacist, receptionist, orderly, aide, manager or other professional. For some positions, you may need to go back to school to obtain a degree or certification. But larger health organizations also need accountants, HR managers, IT professionals, secretaries and food service personnel, to name just a few of the potential positions. With more than 20 years experience in staffing healthcare organizations, All Medical Personnel can help you take the next step toward a career in this dynamic industry.
July 11th, 2011
Service-oriented professionals are essential to any healthcare organization. From the reception desk to the examining room, laboratory to IT department, it takes the right people to perform their jobs well, serving patients, family members, clients, vendors and internal “customers.” But recurring problems with an individual, a department or a team, could indicate that the hospital, physician group, laboratory or ancillary services organization is not recruiting the right talent. In that case, a professional staffing firm can assess the situation and make recommendations for improvement.
Here are four symptoms of recruiting problems.
1. High turnover. In today’s job market, employees are unlikely to walk away from their current positions without a good reason. Therefore, a higher than usual turnover rate, especially among new hires, could mean there’s a mismatch between personnel and their positions.
2. Cultural clashes. Every healthcare organization has a unique culture. But not every employee can “connect” with those workplace values, goals and behaviors. That’s why it’s vital to consider the intangibles when recruiting candidates and making a hiring decision.
3. Recurring mistakes. Although certain requirements are usually specified for a vacant healthcare position, an unskilled candidate might “slip through the cracks” during the recruiting process. Hiring a professional who lacks needed skills or experience can lead to recurring mistakes that have a ripple effect throughout the organization. But don’t just blame the individual. Take a close look at the screening and recruiting process as well.
4. Internal conflict. Personality clashes between co-workers, lack of respect for a manager or an “us versus them” mentality within an organization are serious issues that must be addressed quickly and effectively. Just remember that internal conflict may also indicate a recruiting problem: not paying enough attention to individual personality during the hiring process.
July 4th, 2011
For physicians, nurses, therapists, laboratory technicians and other healthcare professionals, a temporary job can be a crucial step toward securing a permanent position. That’s because a temporary staffer gains an “inside view” of the healthcare organization as well as actual on-the-job experience. As a result, temporary staffers have a much better understanding of the people, the culture and the mission of the hospital, physician’s group, medical laboratory or other healthcare organization.
While many healthcare workers prefer the flexibility and variety of temporary staffing assignments, others are looking for a position that meets their needs over the long term, advancing their career goals. Drawing on more than 20 years experience in this sector, All Medical Personnel offers the following suggestions for turning a temporary job into a permanent position:
1. Remember the basics: Arrive on time, be friendly with your co-workers and don’t even think about leaving early.
2. Demonstrate your commitment. That might mean doing extra work in your temporary position or helping a co-worker with his or her projects.
3. Show that you’re a good “fit” for the organization. Dress like your co-workers, have lunch with them and join in their conversations.
4. Make suggestions and offer ideas for improvement after you become familiar with the organization. This is a great way to improve your visibility.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask. Talk with your supervisor and request that you be considered for a permanent position.
By following these five steps, you’ll increase your chances of moving from a temporary healthcare job into the next stage of your career. Good luck!
June 27th, 2011
All Medical Personnel is proud to salute “Hero Health Hire,” a new nationwide initiative designed to match wounded U.S. veterans with healthcare jobs, and help them successfully join the civilian workforce.
On June 22, leaders from the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), U.S. Department of Labor, military officials and representatives from 25 healthcare associations and private companies gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2011 Hero Health Hire Employment Summit. Topics of discussion included recruiting and hiring practices and the types of support necessary for these “wounded veterans” to enter healthcare and start building new careers.
According Magellan Health Services, a specialty health care management organization sponsoring the new program, an estimated 40,000 members of the U.S. military have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. In addition, the unemployment rate for veterans remains significantly higher than the national average.
At the same time, the healthcare industry continues to need well-qualified candidates who can step into management and leadership roles. Based on our experience in staffing healthcare positions for more than two decades, many veterans bring strong decision-making and administrative skills to the healthcare sector. They are usually comfortable exercising the leadership abilities in a team setting - another positive factor for hospitals and healthcare systems.
Because there are significant differences between civilian and military organizations, many veterans take advantage of temporary staffing services like All Medical Personnel to explore career opportunities in the healthcare industry. So, we invite service veterans to contact our recruiting team to learn more about job opportunities in this dynamic sector of our nation’s economy.
June 20th, 2011
If you are thinking about entering the healthcare field, consider a career as a laboratory technician or laboratory technologist. There are many openings today for lab techs, and even more jobs are expected to be needed in the future.
A lab technician typically performs tests that help physicians diagnose and treat their patients. That might mean preparing samples of a tumor to determine if it is cancerous or benign. It could mean checking a patient’s blood to see if an antibiotic is effective in fighting a bacterial infection. Or it might involve testing a blood sample for cholesterol, lipids and other important compounds.
It usually takes two years of college to become a lab technician. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires you to have an associate’s degree in order to perform diagnostic tests on human tissue. After gaining experience as a lab tech, a natural career step is earning a bachelor’s degree and become a laboratory technologist, who can do more complex tests and procedures.
Currently, there are about 320,000 laboratory technicians and technologists in the United States, according to American Medical Technologists, an industry association. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of lab tech jobs will rise by 25,000 between 2008 and 2018. However, many senior technologists and technicians will also be retiring during the decade, creating openings across the country. In addition, many laboratory companies, healthcare systems and physician groups rely on staffing services like All Medical Personnel for experienced techs who can step in and contribute their knowledge and expertise in a laboratory setting.
June 13th, 2011
Payroll is one of the biggest HR headaches for physician groups, medical laboratories, hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Every pay period, internal resources must be dedicated to processing employee checks and direct deposit payments. Simply put, payroll processing requires time and attention from HR and prevents those resources from being used for other tasks.
In addition, payroll processing involves a number of risks to the healthcare organization. Employee time records and pay rates must be completely accurate - otherwise, HR will need to go back to the file, run through the numbers again, and issue a new check. Local, state and federal taxes must be calculated correctly to avoid potential fines or other penalties, and payroll rules and regulations can change at any time. If withholding rates go up or a new reporting requirement is imposed, the organization must comply immediately. After all, one of the principles of the U.S. legal system is that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
One of the many benefits a healthcare staffing firm like All Medical Personnel provides to its clients is payroll processing. The staffing firm - not the internal HR department - is responsible for the payroll-related tasks, including keeping records, filing taxes and ensuring compliance with applicable local, state and federal regulations. That frees up time for the healthcare organization’s HR team to focus on core business matters, rather than getting bogged down by payroll. Today, many healthcare organizations are outsourcing functions like information technology (IT) or billing and collection services. A healthcare staffing firm may be able to offer similar benefits by reducing the burdens associated with payroll processing.
June 6th, 2011
Nurses from across the country are trying to convince Congress that higher staffing ratios are needed for hospitals to provide quality patient care. Their argument: inadequate staffing can present unnecessary risks to the patient, extend length of stay and increase overall healthcare costs.
In conjunction with National Nurses Week last month, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) reintroduced legislation to establish minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and require hospitals to implement nurse-to-patient staffing plans. Her bill - the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act (S. 992) - is the latest in a series of bills that would give nurses more influence in shaping staffing levels.
Many of its provisions are similar to the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2011 (H.R. 876, S. 58), which would require Medicare-participating hospitals to establish staffing plans for nursing services. Both bills would provide whistleblower protections for employees and patients, and fine employers who violate the bill.
“This kind of legislation saves lives,” said Geri Jenkins, R.N., a nurse at University of California San Diego Medical Center and co-president of the California Nurses Association, in a recent interview on Capitol Hill.
Based on our 20+ years of providing nursing staffing services, it’s clear that many hospitals and healthcare systems are striving for the ideal balance: ensuring that enough nurses are available to deliver quality care to the patient without running up unnecessary labor costs.
Whether or not nursing staffing ratios become mandatory, temporary staffing solutions from agencies like All Medical Personnel can play an important role in helping hospitals achieve their goals, reducing risks for both patients and institutions.