When health workers are in charge, public health workers make public health jobs seem so hard-to-get
Health workers at the Wichita Public Library in Kansas are making public health care jobs seem like they are almost impossible.
They are not.
The library is hiring more health care workers and improving access to quality care for patients, including those with chronic illnesses.
The job of a health care worker is to monitor and diagnose patients, assess their symptoms and provide information to help them navigate a system that relies on electronic databases and social media.
The job has always been hard, said the library’s director, Jennifer Miller, but now it is getting easier.
Health workers are increasingly in charge of the hospital.
Some of them have been hired by the hospital’s chief executive, Dr. Daniel Olinger.
The department of health is making changes to make the hospital more efficient, Miller said.
“We are going to do the best we can to make sure we have the best staff that are able to respond to our patients,” Miller said at a recent meeting of the Wichita chapter of the American Association of University Health System.
The work at the library has become especially challenging, Miller added, because many people with chronic diseases need care in hospitals and some of the facilities do not have enough beds.
The health care workforce at the hospital is growing at a fast rate.
More than 1,300 health care professionals have joined the Wichita hospital, the largest in the state, according to the hospital, and the library is planning to add more to its staff by mid-November.
“The workforce is growing, the number of people coming into the library and the number that want to come is going to continue to grow,” Miller told The Times in an interview.
“We have a growing population, but we also have people who are working in their spare time.”
Health care workers are now in charge at the main hospital, where they are doing some of their best work, according a report from the University of Kansas School of Public Health.
The report said that the hospital has become a national leader in developing tools and techniques to manage complex health care situations.
The hospital also is one of the largest employers in the country of health care care workers, the report said.
The library has hired health care specialists who are trained in the use of technology to improve patient care.
Staff members have also been training and mentoring nurses, and are working with staff to improve the quality of care, the health care experts said.
This new health care model at the Kansas hospital is also a sign of changing attitudes about how people are treated by hospitals, said Dr. David Wieden, the library chief of infectious disease.
“It is an acknowledgement that health care is a service, not just an item on a checklist,” Wieder said.
“That has become the norm.
That’s the new norm, not the old.”
The new health workers, he said, are working harder than ever to provide a high-quality, efficient care environment for patients.
But they also are becoming more sensitive to the needs of their patients, Miller and Wiedener said.
The health care staff members are now often more attentive to patients with chronic health conditions, including people with dementia, depression and cancer, Miller explained.
That sensitivity also may be a challenge for people who have not had the chance to be exposed to health care at a higher level.
Some people who cannot speak English are more sensitive than others.
“They have not been exposed to the full range of health professionals, the whole spectrum of the health professions,” Wiesen said.
In addition, some health care providers have not fully integrated their health care practices into their daily lives, Miller noted.
The new health worker is expected to help those transition into the new health workforce and to continue the health worker’s education about the role of health in a broader context, Miller told the Times.
Health care professionals in general, however, are trying to change that.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science in Education, an advocacy group for health care educators, is developing a series of lessons for health professionals.
The group is also encouraging health care facilities to adopt new tools to provide more personalized care to patients.
Health providers also are being encouraged to make more use of social media, to reach patients through text messaging, to connect patients to the medical care system and to use social media to inform the public about their care.
“The role of the public health professional is to be the conduit of the information that is needed, to make it accessible to the public, and to be part of that communication,” said John J. Baskin, president and chief executive of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The association provides more than 400,000 physician and nurse practitioners, social workers, nurses and other health care personnel.
The public health profession is part of the physician workforce, but its role has not been recognized as such.
Baskin said health care needs must change in order to support a healthier society and protect public health.
The profession must learn