How Education Benefits Have Become Pivotal to the Healthcare Industry
There’s no question that healthcare workers are the MVP’s of 2020. With a global pandemic raging, another flu season fast approaching, and a litany of day-to-day health concerns, healthcare is a challenging field in which to work. High demand and an exhausting schedule means that recruiting and retaining professionals in the field can be difficult. That’s why the healthcare industry has focused in on an incentive that touches every nurse, physician, and specialist: education.
It’s no secret that the price tag of healthcare education is astronomical. Years of study and fulfilling residency requirements add up fast. The median medical school debt comes out to an intimidating $200,000 according to a 2019 study by the AAMC. With the cost of higher education climbing annually, repaying loans enters students’ minds the moment they consider applying to schools.
Hospitals and private practices have made tuition assistance an essential tool for attracting talented young professionals. With debt being ubiquitous, big industry players subsidize tuition for bright students willing to sign on while finishing their degree. Additionally, intra-organizational talent development is driven by education benefits; bright, ambitious employees are given the opportunity to go back to school and increase their earning potential on the company’s dime.
However, perhaps the most crucial role of education benefits in the industry is helping doctors and nurses meet Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements. We’ve all seen it first hand: the landscape of healthcare can transform overnight. CME ensures that providers are practicing medicine in the safest, most up-to-date way possible. Licensing boards will mandate coursework that practitioners must complete in order to legally continue working. Like death and taxes, CME is an inevitability for the healthcare professional.
Paying for employees to continue their education is the structural heart of most benefit packages in the medical field: it’s the price of doing business. So, to bolster their CME compensation, many organizations have added skill enhancement programs as well as private consultations with career advancement specialists as part of their benefit packages.
While the cost of education benefits to employers is far from negligible, there is a clear return on investment for every dollar spent. Better trained employees means better overall results for patients. In a field where the financial liability from poor training or malpractice is massive, there are immediate net savings to be found in education. And then there is the time tested reality that perceived quality of benefits is instrumental in motivating workers to stay with a company. When a hospital can lose $130,000 a month in revenue from a vacant physician position, there is ample reason to prioritize retention.
With the healthcare industry at center-stage in 2020, frontline workers have more than earned their share as being deserving of premium benefits packages. The risk of working in such a dangerous environment will have long term consequences both in maintaining and expanding hospital staffs. Education must play the starring role of how the healthcare industry manages its human resources. Without it, the ever-evolving health crises that face our world can easily overcome us.
ClearDegree works with companies and their employees to tailor tuition assistance programs (TAP) programs and increase the likelihood of completion of higher degrees. We represent a smarter way to invest in education benefits. Our education concierge services are an asset to both HR and the individual employee. Contact us for more information about ClearDegree and start to realize the ROI from tuition assistance programs.