Health equity and patient safety are two critical pillars of modern healthcare. Medical bachelor’s degrees help promote these principles by equipping healthcare professionals with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to address health disparities and ensure patient safety.
For instance, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Rockhurst University allows graduates with a bachelor’s degree to transition to nursing. This way, you can become a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in 12 to 18 months.
Rockhurst University’s fast-paced learning environment is designed to instill a comprehensive understanding of nursing principles. This makes every graduate a model nurse through the program’s solid foundation in nursing theory, research, and practice. The knowledge helps you understand patient-centered care and ethical decision-making, which are crucial for promoting health equity and patient safety.
This article will critically discuss five ways medical bachelor’s degrees promote health equity and patient safety.
Five ways a medical bachelor’s degree promotes patient safety
Every bachelor’s degree serves a purpose. Degrees in the medical field help fuel your passion but also equip you with strategies to enhance patient health and improve sustainability in healthcare organizations. How?
A cornerstone of medical bachelor’s degrees is the comprehensive education they provide. This education extends from biology, anatomy, and physiology to pharmacology. This extensive curriculum equips future professionals with a well-rounded understanding of the human body, diseases, and treatments.
Biology, for example, is the bedrock of medical knowledge, offering insights into fundamental life processes. A solid grasp of biology helps you understand the intricacies of the human body at a cellular and molecular level. This understanding then helps when diagnosing diseases and formulating treatment plans.
Anatomy and physiology, on the other hand, delve into the structure and function of the human body. Knowledge in these areas allows you to understand how the body’s systems interact in order to provide effective care.
Pharmacology, another critical component of the medical degree curriculum, focuses on the interaction of drugs with the body. This equips you with the ability to prescribe medications safely while considering side effects and the patient’s distinct health history.
The comprehensive education provided by the degrees helps you apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. Applying this knowledge helps achieve patient safety and equips you with the necessary tools and practices to navigate the complexities of patient care.
A key component of medical bachelor’s degrees is the emphasis on ethical decision-making. This means you’re equipped to make decisions that prioritize patient safety and respect their rights.
Ethical decision-making in healthcare involves making morally right and professionally acceptable choices. It’s about balancing the patient’s needs and rights without compromising your responsibilities and duties to them. This process is guided by principles such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice.
For instance, the principle of autonomy respects the patient’s right to make informed decisions about their approach to care. This means you must provide patients with all the necessary information about their condition, potential treatments, and their risks. This information ensures sustainable treatment in healthcare and allows patients to decide how they want to be treated.
Beneficence and non-maleficence, on the other hand, are about doing good and avoiding harm. This means you consider a treatment’s potential benefits and risks before issuing it. The principle of justice involves treating all patients fairly regardless of their background or circumstances. You’d learn more about this through a medical program that helps you become a better professional.
A significant aspect of medical bachelor’s degrees is the development of research skills. This integrates the knowledge of research methodologies, statistical analysis, and critical appraisal of relevant literature. These skills will keep you informed on the latest medical advancements to optimize your practices.
For example, the rapid advancements in oncology show that there are novel treatment and therapy options that can enhance patient recovery. With strong research skills, you can study these new studies, assess their relevance and reliability, and incorporate the findings into your strategies for patient care.
A major part of medical bachelor’s degrees is the focus on leadership and management skills. Healthcare leadership is more than just managing a team. It involves setting a vision, inspiring others, and creating an environment that promotes patient safety and quality care.
Possessing these skills means you already have strategic planning and decision-making abilities. You must be able to lean on these abilities to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. This will help you make informed decisions and advocate for resources and policies that contribute to patient health.
For example, you might advocate for policies that address health disparities. These could be increased funding for community health programs or improved access to care for underserved populations. All these make you a change agent that isn’t only responsive to changes in the healthcare environment but is also proactive in driving innovation.
An important element of medical bachelor’s degrees is the focus on quality improvement. Medical degree programs will equip you with the skills to identify and address quality issues in healthcare to achieve continuous improvement that enhances patient safety.
Quality improvement in healthcare involves a systematic approach to making changes that lead to better patient outcomes. This encourages more efficient care delivery processes and improves professional development. It’s about continuously analyzing performance, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes to enhance the quality of care.
For instance, a healthcare professional might notice a high rate of hospital-acquired infections in the healthcare facility. Using quality improvement skills, they could investigate the issue, identify contributing factors, and develop strategies to reduce the infection rate. This might involve changes in hand hygiene practices, sterilization procedures, or patient education programs.
This is followed by strategies to measure the impact of the changes. Measuring the impact could involve tracking infection rates for a set period or surveying patient satisfaction with treatment methods. All these will help the professional know if they’ve created a culture where quality and safety are key.
Medical bachelor’s degrees provide a comprehensive education that equips you with technical knowledge in biology, anatomy, and pharmacology and soft skills in leadership and communication. These programs emphasize the importance of ethical decision-making, patient-centered care, and continuous quality improvement. All these help you understand how to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, advocate for patients and communities, and drive improvements in healthcare.