In the last few years the options for healthcare professionals have widened dramatically. In the past, most healthcare workers worked at a single institution and would only have contact with the patients that visited that hospital or clinic. However, as the needs of patients change, so do the work options for healthcare professionals.Freelance Healthcare WorkersMore and more healthcare professionals are being given the option to work on a freelance basis instead of being employed by a single hospital or clinic. This gives healthcare professionals the chance to reach a much wider spread of people in their community and go where they are needed rather than wait for patients to come to them. In large urban areas, many healthcare workers now choose to work with four or more different healthcare establishments and keep set hours at those establishments so that their patients know where to find them.Flexible RolesIt is also being recognised that healthcare professionals need to take a more flexible approach to diagnosing and treating patients. While a large number of specialists still exist, there is a need for healthcare professionals to expand their knowledge and the fields they work in, rather than focusing on a small field where there might not be too much demand for healthcare.Opportunities to StudyAs a result of this increased flexibility in roles, healthcare professionals need to increase and update their knowledge so that they can treat a broad spectrum of people with different illnesses and needs. Of course, this requires devoting a certain amount of time to studying, both independently and in some cases as part of an open course where hands-on experience is given. Many healthcare employers are now sponsoring their employees to study, while other healthcare professionals are devoting certain amounts of their free time to studying so that they are able to meet the challenges posed by the new ways of working around healthcare today.