The evolution of technology, and particularly online technology, has been responsible for some of the most remarkable and dramatic changes to take place in almost every aspect of how we live our lives today. In a relatively short period the Internet has grown in both size and scope and now plays a key role in everything from entertainment, shopping and socializing to banking and buying houses.

The Internet has also had a significant impact on every aspect of the job market, with career websites becoming the first places people turn to both look for employment opportunities and research in preparation for a job application. It is also used extensively by job agencies and prospective employers to advertise vacant roles and seek out potential candidates.

The health care profession is no exception to this, with nurses and other health care professionals using the Web as a crucial source of information as well as a means of pursuing new opportunities to advance their career.

Impacts on the Health Care Industry

The Internet has had a huge impact on how the health care industry operates in a number of different ways, but primarily around the availability of information. Here are some of the most significant:

  • Jobs – nurses and other health care professionals now have easier than ever access to the job market and from the comfort of their own home are able to quickly source a list of available roles tailored to match their aspirations in terms of salary, scope, location and whether or not the role and employer are a good fit for them.
  • Research – until relatively recently a family doctor was the primary and in many cases only source of information and advice about health care and medical issues. Therefore, if an individual had a concern or query about either a specific symptom or general health-related issue, a visit to the doctor was required. Today, the Internet is full of information, not only from online doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, but also from individuals who have experienced the same or similar problems.
  • Options – anyone looking to locate a source of treatment can search online to find feedback from patients who have recently had the same treatment in a variety of locations and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of each. Similarly, for professionals in the industry, honest, impartial advice about what it is really like to work for a company or in a particular region can be found very easily and used to inform job-related decisions.

The Internet also provides an efficient means of sharing data to predict medical trends and improve connectivity between doctors and their patients using social media platforms, for example.

Niche Health Care Businesses

Against this background and in light of all these advantages, the Internet has also enabled small niche health care businesses to thrive. Where previously these might have been overlooked due to nothing more than a lack of general awareness on the part of prospective patients, online searches have the potential to point people in their direction. In doing so, individuals researching the treatment they need and where it might be available have a wider range of options available to choose from. Smaller organizations often provide not only a more specific and relevant service, they are also very often rated highly for patient satisfaction due to the attention and intimacy they are able to offer.

The connection between small niche businesses and prospective clients are dependent on careful management of services such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) marketing, web development and social media.

The Future

With such dramatic changes having taken place in recent years and a pace of development that shows no sign of slowing down, it is difficult to predict with a high degree of accuracy what the future holds for the health care industry and specifically the online job market. However, many experts agree that online functionality will continue to facilitate employment and career development as people and employers seek ways to make this often daunting process quicker, simpler and more accessible. Similarly, online service providers will continue to look for ways to respond to these demands and expectations by providing increasingly helpful and innovative solutions.

As things stand, anyone looking to start out in the health care profession or develop their career further in this field should ensure that online sources form a significant part of their approach.

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The Minority Nurse Winter 2017-2018 issue is now available. Read the latest issue of Minority Nurse today.

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