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Do Front Line Healthcare Workers Help with Clinician Shortages?

Published: July 17, 2019 | Updated: July 23, 2019

The short answer: Yes.

By the year 2030, there could be a shortage of 120,000 physicians nationwide.1 This could cause a ripple effect across the healthcare industry. That means that Nurses, Medical Assistants, and Medical Office Administrative Assistants will need to step up. They could have more responsibilities and find themselves in higher demand.2 If you’re on the front lines of healthcare, you may have already felt the impact. What do you do to pitch in when things get a little crazy a clinical setting?

Here are a few ways you can help with clinician shortages as a frontline healthcare worker:

Run a Smooth Office

How can office administration help when there are shortages in the clinic? By making everything more efficient. A big way healthcare workers support clinicians and reduce shortages is through administrative work. As a Medical Office Admin Assistant, you can take on a lot of the front office work that can bog down clinicians. You’ll make sure patients’ records are organized and accurate, deal with insurance professionals, and interact with people online, on the phone, and face-to-face. You’ll answer questions when you’re qualified to and escalate issues that need a doctor’s attention.

Perform Exceptional Lab Work and Preliminary Exams

As a Medical Assistant with a clinical focus, your hands-on interaction with patients can be invaluable. You will be among the first medical professionals a patient sees, setting the tone for all that follows. Be pleasant, compassionate, and efficient. The better you do your job, the better for the clinic, your fellow healthcare workers, and your patients. Room patients and get them ready for exams and procedures. Take patient vital signs, blood samples, or assist in a physical examination. And do it all with fine attention to detail, to the best of your ability.

Understand the Importance of Follow-Up

If you want to help ease clinician shortages, provide excellent patient care so your patients are more likely to stay healthy. Of course, you can’t single-handedly change the health of a nation, but little things you do can make a difference. For example, making certain that your patients understand doctor’s orders is critical to patient care. Schedule return visits in a timely manner and follow-up on missed appointments. And make sure that you’re always where you need to be. One sure way to help out with shortages is to show up prepared for every shift with the knowledge and skills you can provide to your patients and your co-workers.

Whether you’re already employed in healthcare or are just weighing your options, there’s a lot you can contribute! Check out all the different healthcare programs  at Charter College. We can help you prepare for an entry-level job in the field.


1 https://news.aamc.org/press-releases/article/workforce_report_shortage_04112018/

2 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm