Healthcare is a healing profession. It naturally attracts people seeking to provide relief and comfort from illness. But the clinical teams that work at federally qualified health centers (FQHC) are a breed apart from those working in traditional healthcare facilities. That’s because FQHCs are, by nature, tasked with providing healthcare to underserved populations.
If you’re seeking a mission-driven healthcare career, FQHCs provide treatment for some of the most vulnerable populations in our nation. Here’s why you should consider a rewarding career serving in an FQHC.
What is the Mission?
While all healthcare is designed for service, FQHCs are more mission-driven than the average clinic or hospital. That’s because their charter, literally, is to serve the underserved. Low-income populations that lack access to basic preventative treatments, rural communities that lack doctors, and people suffering from chronic diseases are all served by these facilities. These organizations are set apart by:
- The mission to offer universal access to healthcare regardless of their ability to pay, income level, or insurance status. Patients are offered a sliding fee scale, based on their income.
- At a time with healthcare cost skyrocketing, FQHCs are more cost-effective, offering primary and preventative healthcare. This includes patient education and general support in the areas of medical, dental and behavioral healthcare. These organizations also provide services that reduce barriers to care, like transportation, translation services and low-cost pharmacies.
People working in FQHCs can witness every day that they are helping the people that need it most. Their work includes:
- Providing high-quality care and caring to the underserved.
- Reducing barriers to care for people who cannot afford basic healthcare services or do not live in proximity to hospitals and clinics.
- Reaching medically underserved populations to provide them with support.
The work environment in an FQHC brings together like-minded people with the focus and support to achieve these goals. These work environments are certainly spiritually rewarding, but they also offer professional growth to their employees. These include the following:
- FQHCs often provide loan and scholarship repayment programs for many occupations within the field.
- Most of these organizations offer internal quality programs sponsored by the federal or state government.
- These organizations are held to stringent clinical quality standards, so the Joint Commission holds employees accountable for accreditation standards.
- Professional malpractice insurance is covered for employees of FQHCs that receive federal funds.
- Most states have an association for these organizations where employees can receive additional training and accreditation.
- Competitive pay and benefits.
Each FQHC is intrinsically linked to the community it serves; these organizations are governed by a Board of Directors that, by law, is made up of patients treated at the center and local community members.
For healthcare providers dismayed by the high cost and waste typically found in the average hospital, FQHCs help these providers get back to the basics of why they answered the call to healthcare in the first place; to help people.
If you feel like your current work in the healthcare profession has lost its connection to mission, maybe it’s time to speak with a UHC Solutions professional about transitioning into an FQHC. These facilities are located in rural, urban, and tribal areas around the country, offer services in clinics, homeless shelters, mobile clinics, in schools, and in traditional clinical settings. Contact us to find out more.