LEAWOOD, Kan., April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Allied health educators and employers have high expectations for current and future collaboration. Research study data indicated that employers (67 percent) and educators (80 percent) stated that their relationships and collaboration are "very valuable." Additionally, the demand for credentialed allied health professionals is increasing. Nearly all educators surveyed (96 percent) encourage students to obtain professional certification specific to their allied health discipline and employers (88 percent) agreed that certification is extremely important in the allied health industry to help credibility, boost careers and increase demand across the industry.
That's according to a recent study included in the new access™ publication from NHA. The study was conducted by Hanover Research and funded by NHA, a company that has certified more than 500,000 allied health professionals. In the first annual publication of access™, allied health employers and educators identify trends and explore a wide range of topics, including the evolving role of medical assistants, Medicare payment reform also known as the Medicare Access to Care and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and pharmacy technician trends.
"Our vision is for access™ to be a go-to resource that allied health educators, employers and those working in the professions look to for expert insights and quantitative data to learn and benchmark trends in our industry," said Mike Dahir, NHA general manager. "This issue of access™ will be the first of what will become an annual publication dedicated to the evolving and increasing role of allied health professionals. This year's publication is particularly focused on the medical assistant, pharmacy technician and phlebotomy fields. We are excited to bring the perspectives of educators and employers together about the future of certification and the important role these professions play in healthcare," said Dahir.
Subject matter experts from across the country came together to contribute content to access™, resulting in a wholly unbiased and informative perspective on healthcare.
Though the majority of employers and educators surveyed believe relationships and ongoing collaboration with allied health professionals are critical, employers often find their entry-level employees deficient in some areas. They cited soft skills as those that newly certified professionals most commonly lacked, with critical thinking, attention to detail and written/oral communication also rising to the top of the list.
"In healthcare, soft skills are even more essential because they involve 'people skills' or the ability to empathize professionally without losing sight of the task at hand," said Jeremy Sasser, pharmacy market strategist at NHA and author of access™ article, "Soft Skills – Inherent or Learned?" Sasser went on to explain, "While these skills are not based on acquired knowledge, they can be nurtured and developed by both employers and educators through mentorship and real-world experience."
The access™ study also found that more than two thirds of employers surveyed indicated they are under at least moderate pressure to raise salaries. The majority of those same employers anticipate that salaries will increase over the next five years, with 72 percent believing that salaries will "substantially increase" (18 percent) or "slightly increase" (54 percent) for medical assistants.
"Many of the trends identified in access™ speak to the increasing importance of allied health professionals, specifically in identifying their ability to provide greater access to care, an expanded scope of services and a more coordinated patient care team," said Lindsay Gainer, RSN, MSN, and access™ contributing author.
The NHA Allied Health research study, conducted by Hanover, assessed the opinions of employers and educators concerning the future of medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists and allied health certification. Researchers surveyed professionals who are either employers of allied health professionals or educators involved in medical assistant, pharmacy technician or phlebotomy programs. Visit nhanow.com to see additional survey results and the full issue of access™.
About National Healthcareer Association®
Since 1989, NHA has been partnering with allied health education programs, organizations and employers across the nation to award more than 500,000 allied health certifications. The organization offers eight nationally accredited exams, certification preparation and study materials, industry-leading outcomes-based data analytics, as well as ongoing professional development and continuing education for its certification holders.
NHA is a division of Assessment Technologies Institute, LLC, a leader in providing technology-based educational, assessment, testing and certification solutions for healthcare and other vocational fields. Its family of companies includes NHA, ATI Nursing, NASM and MedHub.
To learn more about access™, certification and NHA, visit www.nhanow.com.
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SOURCE National Healthcareer Association