The Gap Between Skilled Healthcare Workers and Support Jobs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 2, 2012

For any healthcare provider attempting to tap into its support staff for advanced training, Carnevale says the first step is to determine who has the basic skills. "Any community college has lots of tests you can give people to see if they are training-ready," he says. "All of the placement exams in community colleges and colleges do that pretty efficiently. You could find these people. You could tell them ‘If you want to join this program at entry level, you have to take the placement test.'"

Carnevale believes that hospitals and other healthcare providers should be promoting from within to fill vacant skilled positions. Rather than scouring the Internet to fill skilled healthcare job vacancies, he says healthcare providers could redirect some resources to identify and advance the best and brightest among the support workforce who are already on payroll.

"Obviously this is a missed opportunity," he says. "There are a fair number of people in support functions who, when we look at their test scores, look perfectly capable of training up. We know that is not going on in the aggregate. It may be going on here and there in little programs. I am struck that it is not more widespread because it seems so obvious that somebody would do this."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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