HEALTH­CARE RE­FORM

Im­pact on Health­care Pro­fes­sions

The Washington Post Sunday - - CARS • TRUCKS • SUVS & MORE -

Health­care re­form will un­doubt­edly have a ma­jor im­pact on the peo­ple of the United States. But what will it mean for those in health­care pro­fes­sions? Good news, say those in the in­dus­try.

“Forty-four mil­lion peo­ple will sud­denly be get­ting health in­surance,” said Jane Kapustin, PhD, RN, CRNP, as­sis­tant dean for mas­ter’s stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land School of Nurs­ing. “That will mean a lot of new pa­tients com­ing into the health­care sys­tem for the first time.”

Among those who will need ad­di­tional health­care ser­vices are the ag­ing baby boomers. By the year 2020, more than 1 mil­lion 65-and-older cit­i­zens will need nurs­ing care, home care, lab work and more, said Diane Bar­beresi, co­or­di­na­tor of Clin­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Out­reach for Health Sci­ences at Mont­gomery Col­lege. ed­u­ca­tion and re­ten­tion as well as many other for­ward-think­ing ini­tia­tives that are geared to­ward fos­ter­ing and build­ing the nurs­ing and physi­cian work­force of the fu­ture, said Sa­muel Siebu, man­ager of re­cruit­ment pro­grams at Holy Cross Hos­pi­tal. These in­clude nu­mer­ous grants, for ex­am­ple, that are specif­i­cally geared to­ward as­so­ci­ate and bach­e­lors’ de­grees, as well as ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tion in the nurs­ing field and fur­ther­ing di­ver­sity in the work­force. Health­care re­form also sup­ports the Na­tional Nurse Ser­vice Corps, which re­pays 60 per­cent of nurs­ing stu­dent loans in ex­change for at least two years of prac­tice

Em­ploy­ment of reg­is­tered nurses, is pre­dicted

to grow by 23 per­cent through 2016, faster than the av­er­age for all other jobs.

A lot of new pa­tients means a lot of jobs for health­care pro­fes­sion­als. Em­ploy­ment of reg­is­tered nurses, for ex­am­ple, is pre­dicted to grow by 23 per­cent through 2016, faster than the av­er­age for all other jobs.

As­sum­ing the ef­fects of the re­ces­sion will have less­ened by then, that fore­cast in­cludes 581,000 new job open­ings for reg­is­tered nurses and 276,000 new jobs for such po­si­tions as nurs­ing aides, order­lies and at­ten­dants. In Vir­ginia alone, es­ti­mates are that there will be a short­age of 10,000 to 12,000 reg­is­tered nurses by 2017 and as many as 20,000 to 30,000 by 2028.

The re­form bill in­vests in nurs­ing at a health­care in­sti­tu­tion that has a crit­i­cal short­age of reg­is­tered nurses.

With ad­vances in elec­tronic pa­tient chart­ing that re­quire some level of com­puter skill, nurses and other health­care providers are chal­lenged to ad­vance them­selves and re­main at the cut­ting edge of technology.

“All of these pro­vi­sions to our health­care re­form are vi­tally im­por­tant in the face of an in­creas­ing de­mand for health­care providers, es­pe­cially ex­pe­ri­enced reg­is­tered nurses and pri­mary care physi­cians,” Siebu con­tin­ued. “Over time, this could cre­ate a win-win sit­u­a­tion, im­proved pa­tient ac­cess, and an in­crease in the pool of avail­able health­care pro­fes­sion­als to meet the in­creas­ing de­mand for pa­tient care providers.”

Al­lied health fields will also need work­ers be­cause of the in­creased num­ber of pa­tients. These jobs, re­quir­ing four years or less of col­lege, in­clude physi­cian as­sis­tants, oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists, biomed­i­cal tech­ni­cians, geri­atric nurs­ing as­sis­tants, med­i­cal sec­re­taries, cen­tral ster­ile tech­ni­cians (as well as crit­i­cal care and emer­gency depart­ment nurses), di­ag­nos­tic coders, res­pi­ra­tory care prac­ti­tion­ers, car­diac sono­g­ra­phers, phys­i­cal ther­a­pists and phys­i­cal ther­apy as­sis­tants.

The Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics pre­dicts that about one of ev­ery four new jobs cre­ated in the United States through 2018 will be in health­care and so­cial as­sis­tance— which means that as a ca­reer op­tion, health­care has a promis­ing fu­ture. Or as Janet Clarke, pro­gram di­rec­tor of Work­force Devel­op­ment and Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion at Mont­gomery Col­lege, stated:

“If you want to catch a fish, go where there are a lot of fish.”

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