2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION
Tech TIMELINE Since the start of the pandemic, health care industries have incorporated new technologies to help aid health care workers amid increasing demands.
Health care is the largest nonretail industry by employment in The Woodlands area, but increasing demand means future workforce needs may not be met.
A GROWING NEED AND PROFESSION
Way said to help patients who might not be as procient with tablets and touch screens, Houston Method- ist is developing an internal team for
orientations with patients. Aiding health care workers
HOUSTONTHE WOODLANDSSUGAR LAND AS OF MAY 2021
Registered nurses: 54,540
Licensed practitioner nurses: 12,200 Clinical laboratory technicians: 5,840
Total health care employees: 161,800
Hospital executives have been look- ing for ways to use technology to help sta members, Kendrick said. Information from an April report by the Texas Department of State Health Services states that by 2032, the supply of licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow by 13.8% to 79,179 across the state. However, the demand for LVNs is expected to increase by 45.5%, or 91,750, result- ing in a decit of available LVNs in the state by 2025. The demand for registered nurses is also outpacing the supply. In 2018, there was a decit of around 28,000 nurses in the state. By 2032, the decit is antic- ipated to be around 57,000. “The technology … leverages their skillsets; it enhances their ability to provide care,” Kendrick said. However, there are some areas in which telehealth is not applicable, said Dr. Suril Raina, a physician and researcher for World Health Network, a global coalition of advisory teams. “Technology advancements do not mean you are able to surmount this pandemic easily,” he said. “Surgical consultations may not be possible through telehealth, but diagnostics would see a huge benet.” Changes in education Health care students have also adapted to using technological changes throughout the pandemic. At Lone Star College-Kingwood, LVN students have been learning on high-delity mannequins that can simulate human
Ground breaks on Hous- ton Methodist Healing Tower expansion South Tower expansion at Memorial Hermann announced November Coronavirus shut- downs prompt greater investments in telehealth and technology March Nursing students at Lone Star College focus on simulations April
Nurse practitioners: 3,810
57,012 registered nurses
12,572 licensed vocational nurses 2023 PROJECTIONS: STATEWIDE SHORTAGES* *to meet state requirements in Texas SOURCE: U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
reactions due to a limited ability for clinical training, according to Nicole Townsend, faculty member with the LSCS nursing department. “The pandemic has forced us to rein- vent the wheel and lean more heav- ily on simulation,” Townsend said. “During the pandemic, pretty much everything was shut down. We were not able to go into the hospitals. … It became more challenging for our nurs- ing students, who are required by the Texas State Board of Nursing to get [a certain] number of clinical hours.” Townsend noted that while the man- nequins are not new technology, their latest iterations can be used to simulate a variety of scenarios that nursing stu- dents can experience while working, including various levels of bleeding, reacting to pain and giving birth. “It has been central to our nursing education, especially during the pan- demic,” Townsend said. Courtney West, associate dean of educational aairs at Sam Houston State University’s College of Osteo- pathic Medicine in Conroe, said stu- dents were able to still get hands-on
experience, although in small groups throughout the pandemic. West said students are also being trained with technologies such as mock electronic medical records, which are being used in area hospitals, and vir- tual training. “I know in our simulation centers, they have done interprofessional work where they have done a couple of sce- narios,” West said. “Specically, they interacted with an elementary school in Houston where they did a virtual simulation on a pediatric patient who was having an allergic reaction. They were able to do that through Zoom, and it was very well-received.” West said she hopes the shifts in technology from the pandemic will increase access and opportunities for care with specialists. “I think that will enable us to grow the profession and provide more access to continuity of care moving forward,” West said. “That is the goal.”
Texas House Bill 4 passage expands the use of telemedicine due to an increase in use during the pandemic
Houston Method- ist The Woodlands Hospital Healing Tower expansion completed, adding a full robotic surgeon wing Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Cen- ter expansion includes new catherization labs May
SOURCES: HOUSTON METHODIST THE WOODLANDS HOSPITAL, MEMORIAL HERMANN THE WOODLANDS MEDICAL CENTER, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEM, TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
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THE WOODLANDS EDITION • JUNE 2022
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