Healthcare is essential to our lives, with a pandemic or without. When we think of “healthcare,” we think of the medical professionals that provide us with care and roles that need medical degrees, such as nurses and doctors. We appreciate them for their commitment to helping us improve our health, but they’re not the only ones who keep us safe in hospitals.
We shouldn’t forget about other workers in the healthcare industry. They are people we often see on the sidelines or not interact with at all. Nonetheless, they are unsung heroes and should be celebrated more for their contributions.
Some medical assistants go through medical training and have a healthcare-related degree, but many are high school graduates. They become experts in the field through hands-on experience.
Many dismiss medical assistants because they do relatively easier tasks, such as preliminary patient interviews, organizing patient records, and doing other paperwork. But that’s exactly what makes them invaluable. With medical assistants on the floor, nurses and doctors have more time to attend to their patients.
Housekeepers and Janitors
Healthcare facilities must always be clean. And we have housekeepers and janitors to thank for keeping these facilities spick and span.
Many people look down on them for working a menial job. Housekeepers themselves have claimed that they are not respected by management, medical professionals, and patients. For instance, in some hospitals, cleaning aides are not provided with appropriate protective equipment.
But what the maintenance staff does is essential for healthcare facilities to function properly and to protect patients.
For example, hospital-acquired infections (HAI) are prevalent. One in 31 hospital patients acquires at least one infection during confinement. Regular cleaning and maintenance by housekeepers help in reducing cases of HAIs. And in the time of COVID-19, cleaning aides ensure that all patient rooms and common areas are properly sanitized to avoid the spread of the virus.
Aside from the cleaning crew, the logistic officers also greatly contribute to healthcare facilities’ smooth workflow. These officers ensure that medicines and medical supplies are well-stocked and properly stored.
Logistic officers are also responsible for the acquisition of needed tools and equipment. These officers need to be forward thinkers so that they can acquire needed supplies before they run out.
In this pandemic, many hospitals and healthcare facilities are at capacity. Logistics officers ensure that, even in this situation, there is no shortage of important tools and equipment, such as personal protection equipment and sanitation supplies. And that’s why logistic officers are so crucial to the healthcare industry and should be given more credit by their employers and the public.
Electricians and Technicians
Two more important members of the healthcare industry are electricians and technicians. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities use several machines and electronic devices, which these professionals take care of.
The job descriptions of electricians and technicians in the healthcare industry are quite wide. These professionals work together and fulfill responsibilities similar to what instrumentation technicians and other industrial professionals: inspect, test, and fix electronic equipment to ensure they’re running smoothly.
They also monitor the power supply in hospitals. These professionals ensure that hospitals have an uninterrupted and continuous power supply in the event of a power outage. This is critical for patients who depend on machines for their care. And if doctors are conducting surgery during a power outage, they will be able to continue the operation. Thanks to electricians, doctors, nurses, and patients don’t have to worry about power interruptions.
The people in the kitchen are also considered essential healthcare workers. They provide nourishment to patients to assist with their speedy recovery.
Some meals are prepped early and cooked in batches before being sent to patients on a specific schedule. But other meals are cooked on demand. This means that cooks must stay alert and know several dishes to provide patients with what they need.
A more crucial aspect is food quality. Cooks must always ensure that the food they prepare is clean and fresh to prevent any food-related issues among patients.
Healthcare is not only composed of care providers. It also consists of several service professionals, including maintenance staff, logistics personnel, electricians, and cooks. They fulfill roles that are just as essential as the roles of doctors and nurses.
Instead of pushing them aside, we need to recognize these service workers and give them the respect they deserve. This can be done in many ways, from saying “thank you” to giving them better pay.