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Career Coach

The Benefits of Conference Exhibit Halls

Published October 21, 2010 9:37 AM by Renee Dahring
I just returned from a large national conference last week, and I have a confession to make: I LOVE the exhibit floor. The educational offerings are great too, but the real action is in the exhibit hall as far as I am concerned. Why? Because that’s where I find I can get a true feel for the trends and the mood of the healthcare marketplace.

Predictably, the number of pharmaceutical displays is down. Due to increased regulations and restrictions on how they are able to market their products they don’t have as many booths as they did a couple years ago. They still provide great information but struggle to compete for attention. Since I have been the one behind the exhibit booth dozens of times I feel their pain, so I usually stop to chat and commiserate. I like to think I brighten their day just a little bit.

Next are the vendors for medical supplies and electronic health records. I can’t help but notice the number of products that are pitched to combat MRSA.  Sad but true, and even sadder yet is that this no longer comes as a surprise to me. There are also legions of pitchmen for various EMR’s and other healthcare management software. The wise are getting on board because the tech-resistant will be left behind, digital is indeed the new black.

But the real action this year is at the recruiting and staffing agency booths. There are just as many if not more than in previous years. A very encouraging sign that jobs do exist.  I stop to visit them all – these are my PEOPLE!  I want to engage in some serious shop talk about the job market. They confirm some of what I already know; the locum tenens or temporary market is hot. There are temporary jobs to spare in all the different medical professions.

Surprisingly I also learned that there is one area of permanent positions that is booming as well: corrections. If you are willing to work in a jail or prison there are plenty of jobs out there for you.  Now, I might be biased since this is my specialty, but correctional health is a decent job. Corrections is an area where NPs and PAs are valued and have the opportunity to practice at the top of our scope.  It’s a challenging environment but one could say that about all of medicine these days.  And did I mention that there are no insurance companies to deal with behind bars? 

E-mail me at rdahring@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/NPCareerCoach

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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