21 October 2015
There’s a reason 95 percent of Belmont healthcare graduates get placed in a new job or further education within six months of graduation, and it’s not the University's landscape (as beautiful as it is).
It is, however, about Belmont's faculty, facilities, and unique approach to healthcare training.
In this blog you'll understand exactly why Belmont students make great candidates for clinics and hospitals, and why you might want to hire them as nurses, physical therapists, and pharmacist, to name a few.
After reading this blog, hiring managers will understand why Belmont’s program is successful at training the next generation of healthcare workers.
The content of this post comes from my meeting with Dr. Renee Brown (Chair of PT) Dr. Beth Hallmark (Dir. of the Simulation Center), and Dr. Cathy Taylor, Belmont's Dean of the College of Health Sciences & Nursing. Together with Dr. Martha Buckner, Dr. Lorry Liotta-Kleinfeld, and Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger, they represent Belmont’s healthcare faculty.
Belmont’s Health Sciences and Nursing Program is Different
People come to Belmont literally from around the world to see how Belmont trains their students in nursing and health sciences.
Health care, as an industry, changes every minute, and in my interview with Dr. Taylor, she emphasized how Belmont prepares for those changes in two specific ways:
- Integrating the most modern technology into their training programs
- Interdisciplinary training
Both of these changes will affect hiring in North American healthcare, and Belmont students are preparing well for change.
Taylor's College focuses on preparing "a healthcare worker of the future.” This means preparing nurses to work and communicate well with other members of the healthcare team. This means being trained in an interdisciplinary educational program, the first thing they have going for them.
So here are seven reasons why 95 percent of Belmont healthcare graduates get placed within six months.
1. Interdisciplinary approach
Taylor’s team is preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals. Part of the preparation is what few schools can claim: an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare training and education. Just in the college of health sciences, Belmont has OT, doctoral PT, social work, companion Pharmacy school, and a healthcare MBA.
“We have the dream team for training and developing those models of care for the future,” says Taylor.
Taylor decided to join Belmont’s faculty, in part, because they recognize the role of other allied health disciplines in their program besides nursing alone. This is what makes their interdisciplinary approach work: alliance between departments within the college.
2. Teaching compassion that’s measurable
Belmont has a faith-based program with a growing service emphasis. Employers who hire Belmont graduates recognize that Belmont produces caring and compassionate providers.
I asked Taylor, "How do you measure compassion?" She said that according to research, you can actually measure compassion.
Belmont teaches compassion by “helping students become familiar with the unfamiliar,” says Taylor. That's Belmont’s “secret sauce."
3. High tech facilities and training labs
Belmont has newly renovated space that can support simulations for emergencies like an Ebola outbreak. They have incredible opportunities for new models of care delivery. For example, they can create simulations of very critical high risk situations in their labs. Practice is the key to critical decision making and knowing what to do under pressure. Their space is key for this.
The practical output? Saving lives and saving money. At least that’s the goal. This is still an emerging market, but Taylor says the results look promising. Instead of waiting for high risk situations to arise for training, students can experience a simulation and then watch videos to debrief what happened. Similar to the effective use of video-debriefing football teams use to learn about specific plays.
4. Superior technology for training: mannequins
When I visited campus and toured their classrooms with Taylor, the part that stood out to me was their mannequins.
These mannequins simulate extreme medical conditions and events; they can even simulate hemorrhages and heart attacks. Teachers can even make them sweat and seizure.
5. Rare residency programs
Belmont’s unique residency programs come from a joint venture between Belmont University School of Physical Therapy and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I learned this about three programs in particular:
Neurologic residency program
Belmont and Vanderbilt were one of the earlier developers of Neurologic residency program with only 16 in the nation when they started. There are currently only 31 nationwide that provide advanced training in neurologic rehabilitation.
Sports residency program
Belmont and Vanderbilt developed a new sport residency program, one of 30 in the county, which trains physical therapists to work athletes at the collegiate and professional level who has sustained injuries.
The newly developed pediatric residency program, one of 17 in the nation, trains physical therapist to work with children of all ages from the tiniest babies in the neonatal intensive care to preschool and school aged children to young athletes.
6. An “early-adopter” mentality
Belmont was the first school in the entire Southeast to have an Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree offering. Even now, at the time of writing, only five schools in the nation have an OTD.
7. Top notch faculty
The last thing I wanted to say is that Belmont’s health sciences and nursing program has top notch faculty members. Speed of the leader, speed of the pack, as they say: Taylor is top notch and surrounded by a top notch faculty.
Taylor has a number of peer-reviewed publications, earned numerous grants and awards, worked for Tennessee’s Department of Health , among many other initiatives and positions, including community-based initiatives like the Vine Hill Community Clinic. Also, she spearheaded a team to implement successful statewide tobacco cessation and diabetes prevention programs.
Health and Hiring: Taylor’s Advice for Healthcare HR Professionals
I asked Dr. Taylor her advice for healthcare HR professionals. You can listen to her answer here:
She said that the hierarchy within healthcare needs to be flattened and roles more clearly defined. This includes healthcare HR, she says, but it goes beyond that department and affects every level of leadership and performance. She goes on to say that healthcare workers need to be able to take a lot of information and communicate it clearly to their teams and to patients - now more than ever.
When hiring healthcare professionals, she says to HR that they should look for people who:
1. Define roles clearly
2. Are technically proficient within their role
3. Communicate bundles of information clearly for your team and for patients
According to Taylor, Belmont’s interdisciplinary approach is gaining momentum in health education. Their goal in health care: figuring out the best team composition to meet individual patient or population health needs and staying focused on producing the best outcomes.
Belmont's College of Nursing and Health Sciences pursues that goal, and their graduates are the proof.
Listen to all the clips from our interview with Dr. Cathy Taylor: