18/11/2021

Healthcare in a Post COVID World

How will hospitals and GP surgeries operate as we navigate COVID today and in the future?

Almost 90% of scientists believe that coronavirus will become endemic, while posing less risk over time. And while low-income countries have a much bigger battle than high-income countries like the UK, COVID will still be around in the West for many years to come.

When we look at healthcare in a post-COVID world, there are some major trends to watch. Here, we discuss the three shifts that could impact public health, as well as careers in the medical field. 

Remote care

The rise of home-based care has been a micro trend that was happening even before the pandemic. But with social distancing becoming more important, it is likely that remote consultations will be commonplace and used the first point of contact for many patients.

Thanks to advancements in technology, this is happening in all parts of the world. In the UK, online consultations allow patients to contact health professionals using a smartphone, tablet or computer. After the consultation, the GP or consultant will follow up with an electronic message, phone call or video call.

Agile workforces

In order to improve patient care in healthcare, and to do it in the most effective and efficient way, Nightingale Hospital in London has developed a unique clinical model that defines roles by tasks and competencies.

This model ensures that healthcare professionals are working at the top of their licence, and embraces all ends of the resource spectrum, including essential roles such as the physician associate role, which is relatively new in the UK.

A physician associate supports doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients, and ensures continuity of care for patients. Not only do they reduce doctor workloads and minimise pressure on the NHS, but they enhance the quality of patient care in healthcare, greatly improving outcomes.

A focus on mental health

Studies show that theres been an increase in mental health problems (such as anxiety and depression) since the start of the pandemic. Researchers across the globe are investigating the causes and impacts of this, and many experts believe that the deterioration in global mental health could stick around long after the pandemic is over.

This is another area where patient-facing roles will come into their own, as well as therapy roles. And in a time where human contact and human understanding is needed, the physician associate role can be highly rewarding.

Andy King, a physician associate at Mosborough Health Centre in Sheffield, shared his story with the NHS Health Careers information service:

"I enjoy the patient contact and the best part is building a professional relationship with a number of my patients. I find it very rewarding when I've supported a patient with a mental illness and see them come out the other side feeling hopeful and stronger than they were."

Read his full story here.

Does the physician associate role sound like something you could do? If you have a degree in a life or health science subject, the University of Boltons MSc Physician Associate Studies could be for you.

As the No.1 University in the UK for Student Satisfaction in Health Studies Subjects*, and No.1 in Greater Manchester for Student Satisfaction in Nursing** for the fourth year running, theres nowhere better to enhance your career in healthcare.

To find out more about applying in 2022, visit our course page for more details.

 

*Complete University Guide, 2022

**Complete University Guide, 2022, 2021, 2020 & 2019

 

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