In spite of general economic trends, health care is one of our nation’s strongest growth industries. There are a number of reasons for this growth; among them, the aging of our population, health care reform, and the increased survival rates for severely ill and injured patients. One of the big questions faced by healthcare recruiters is whether or not you will be able to meet the escalating demand. The difficulty of your situation is acknowledged. Healthcare professionals in the military and veteran communities number in the tens of thousands. Those who serve our country are responsible, disciplined, possess tremendous leadership skills and cover a wide variety of specialties. So how do you, the healthcare recruiter, reach this richly diverse audience, and what challenges will you face? Moreover, what strategies can you utilize to overcome these challenges?
One of the main obstacles facing the average veteran who is looking for a civilian opportunity is the confusion as to how their skill set translates, i.e. deciphering the acronyms that make up veterans’ experience. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is working to align accreditation requirements for nursing and physician assistant programs with enlisted medical training. This is so medics and corpsmen can receive academic credit for their military health care service. The Veterans Administration currently provides clinical education for approximately 100,000 health professional trainees annually, including students from more than 600 schools of nursing. The Veterans Administration is the nation’s largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research.
Another obstacle is the potential for PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, now often referred to as PTS, Post Traumatic Syndrome. Although statistically quoted at approximately 16%, the figure runs much lower for healthcare professionals, who see life threatening illnesses and catastrophic injuries on a daily basis.
The remaining challenge is addressing the discipline and rigor of military experience and its rigid structure, which is conducive to brevity, directness and discipline, and may be at odds with the civilian healthcare environment. The important points to keep in mind are what these professionals bring to the table:
- Military veterans bring a strong sense of responsibility to their work.
- Military veterans work extremely well under pressure.
- Military veterans see a task through to completion.
- Military veterans possess strong leadership skills.
- Military veterans possess a high degree of professionalism.
- Military veterans possess problem-solving skills.
To address these issues, employers will need to do more to educate themselves about military culture. The payoff for these efforts is the ability to meet healthcare staffing needs with our nation’s best and brightest. As technology changes and advances, the need for healthcare workers who possess the most up-to-date skillset increases. Some of the best trained healthcare workers come from the military. With state of the art, technologically advanced breakthroughs in treatment, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of casualties, but at the same time, the statistics of those requiring ongoing medical treatment has dramatically increased. Starting at the top, there has been a years-long shortage of physicians and surgeons. This shortage taxes the entire healthcare system, as much of the burden of care then transfers down the line to nurses, physician assistants, therapists and home health aides.
Military service attracts many experienced healthcare professionals as well as those who want to become nurses, physicians and allied health professionals. Those who serve our nation have the right mind-set to care for others. They are also often motivated by the superior education benefits and/or the forgiveness of their student loans. Military and veteran hospitals face recruitment and retention challenges too, but they are different from those in the civilian world. Military and government service can be a rotating door. Many who have reached their goals and completed their obligations separate from military service. Guard & Reservists who have been activated for a specific term will complete their activation term and return to civilian life, often wanting something different from the civilian healthcare position they had prior to being called to duty. Government healthcare professionals can attain full retirement at a fairly young age and desire to move to a second career in the private sector earning a second retirement.
Candidates from the military and veteran communities are highly viable and make exceptional employees for our nation’s hospitals. Employers will gain valuable employees and it is the right thing to do. In November of last year, the President signed into law the VOW To Hire Heroes Act. This law provides tax credits for hiring Veterans. The tax incentives vary from a minimum of $2,400 to as much as $9,600 per hire. These factors make a compelling case for your organization to recruit and hire Veterans.
We can help you achieve this goal. MilitaryConnection.com is known for connecting military healthcare professionals in all disciplines with outstanding civilian and government jobs. We also work with Transition Officers, Vocational Officers and Veteran Service Officers nationwide. We focus on providing a multitude of resources for healthcare professionals including but not limited to:
- Licensing Boards for Physicians, Nurses & Allied Health Professionals
- Professional Associations by State and Specialty
- Professional Conferences
- Directory of Hospital & Healthcare Employers
- Nursing Columns, Q & A’s and Articles
- Military Medicine
- Healthcare Interview Questions
- Virtual Healthcare Job Fair
- Live Job Fairs
- Job Tips
- Job Board featuring thousands of Jobs
- If you Google “Healthcare Jobs For Military, MilitaryConnection.com is front and center on the first page out of millions of listings. This site is one of the most comprehensive online Military/Veteran Directories on the Internet with thousands of pages of resources and information attracting both active and passive healthcare candidates.
We hope that you will include military and veteran healthcare professionals in your recruitment plans. Doing so will place you several steps ahead of your competition. MilitaryConnection.com is designed to enable you to repeat your recruitment message to this audience of viable healthcare professionals.
MilitaryConnection.com offers many effective recruitment advertising options for your consideration. We can also partner your organization with respected military non-profits to increase your positive visibility and be a win/win for all. MilitaryConnection.com has the honor of working with the most respected military and veteran non-profits in the nation. MilitaryConnection.com is valued member of the military/veteran communities. Additionally, we are proud supporters of the Joining Forces program. Check us out because when the next tour is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com!
About the Author:
Debbie Gregory is CEO of MilitaryConnection.com. The website, launched in 2006 is known as The Go To Site for all things military. MilitaryConnection.com is a member of the International Association of Employment Websites and has been designated as a top 100 Employment Website by Weddles.com. In December, 2011, Ms. Gregory was invited to the White House to meet the President and First Lady as a leader in the Veteran Community. Additionally, she was appointed by the Governor of California to the Interagency Council for Veterans. MilitaryConnection.com in 2011 was awarded the Spirit of Small Business Award by Pacific Coast Business Times. In 2009, Ms. Gregory was named Woman Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Ventura. MilitaryConnection.com is a member of the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ ranking.