Is virtual healthcare work here to stay?

One major aspect of the ‘new normal’ that we find ourselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic is that many jobs and workplaces have pivoted to being fully virtual, and this is also true for many sectors of the healthcare industry. At RPI Consulting Group, we’ve been in the healthcare staffing business for almost two decades, and we keep in close contact with all of our clients, many of whom are major Canadian corporations. Based on what we’ve been hearing recently, we’re of the belief that virtual healthcare work is here to stay – but what does this mean for healthcare employees such as registered nurses (RN), registered practical nurses (RPN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), nurse practitioners (NP), pharmacists, personal support workers (PSW) and more?

A wealth of choices

Virtual healthcare jobs open up many additional doors for employees, providing more choices of the type of work you want to do and the places where you want to do it. For example, pharmacists have the option of working in community pharmacies, R&D facilities, and even in an office setting for virtual pharmacy work. On the other side of the coin, nurses can find job opportunities in facilities such as nursing homes, long-term care homes, COVID-19 vaccination clinics, and virtual workplaces as well.

The ins and outs of virtual work

Of course, conducting healthcare work in a virtual setting is just as important as it is in a physical setting, and there’s a number of things that you’ll need to remember if you land a virtual job opportunity. Firstly, you’ll need to accept that your hours may be different than traditional 9:00am – 5:00pm work. Oftentimes, these types of jobs will require you to work afternoons, evenings, or even overnight, depending on the type of work. Even if you’re working full-time hours (minimum 40 hours per week) and enjoying all of the perks that come with full-time employment (such as benefits), the hours can be a lot more sporadic than a more traditional role.

Another thing to consider is that virtual healthcare jobs can often require you to be employed as an independent contractor, and in cases like these, you’d be responsible for carrying your own personal liability insurance. While this is something that the majority of pharmacists and nurses might already have, this doesn’t change just because a job is virtual.

Staying connected when working virtually is also of the utmost importance, and so it goes without saying that you must ensure that you have access to consistent, high-speed internet/Wi-Fi in your workspace (whether it’s at home or elsewhere). If your home internet is from a lower-tier provider, you’ll need to seriously consider switching to one that’s capable of keeping you connected and fast at all times. The majority of virtual work is conducted on platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, etc, and in order for other parties to see and hear you with no issues, high-quality internet is a must.

Finally – and this is arguably the most important point – you’ll absolutely need to possess outstanding communication skills if you decide to work virtually. Because you’ll be spending most of your time by yourself, it’ll be up to you and you alone to interpret directions, follow instructions to the letter, and provide clear, concise feedback and guidance in an online setting. You’ll be speaking on the phone regularly and writing multiple emails over the course of any given day, and if your communication abilities are anything less than stellar, your work will suffer because of it.

Virtual work is here to stay

If you possess all of the above skills and tools, you should have no problems with finding and excelling in a virtual job setting. In recent months, RPI has received multiple virtual opportunities – if you’re interested in applying to what we have available, contact our team of Account Managers and let them know that you’re ready to take a crack at a virtual job.

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