Thursday, November 29, 2012

How will the Results of the Presidential Election Affect Workers in the Allied Health Fields?

Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential election makes it very difficult for the Republicans to eliminate or make significant adjustments to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act is scheduled to be fully implemented in 2014. So how will it affect allied health care jobs? There are a variety of thoughts on the issue. According to a recent report from the Auburn Citizen in New York, U.S. Representative Anne Marie Buerkle believes a recent decision of a local hospital to lay off 25 workers can be directly attributed to the reduced Medicare reimbursements caused by the Affordable Care Act.

Other experts believe Medicare payment reductions caused by Obamacare won't have a huge affect on allied healthcare workers because those laid off will have job opportunities at other healthcare facilities. This is due to the demand for healthcare from the more than 32 million new people entering the healthcare system due to the Affordable Care Act.

Georgetown Report

According to the Georgetown Report produced by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, healthcare providers throughout the United States will need 5.6 million more trained employees between 2010 and 2020 to take care of the increased workload as the population gets older. The report forecasts this strong demand even if Obamacare gets defeated or reduced. According to the report, 80 percent of the expected 5.6 million new healthcare jobs will require post-secondary education.

Demand is expected to increase in a variety of healthcare fields such as nursing, medical assisting, health-practitioner technology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, diagnostic technology, and medical records administration, among others. There is already a huge shortage of lab techs in the United States, and the additional 32 million people with insurance in 2014 will also increase the demand for pharmacy technicians.

Some experts believe that the Affordable Care Act will create thousands of nursing and therapist jobs; hospitals and healthcare employers will use a mix of permanent and temporary RNs and therapists. Some experts believe that nurses will be more involved in preventive medicine practices in the future. Pete Ferguson, senior vice president for health and life sciences at Yoh Services, a staffing company, stated, "With the increase in demand for NPs, there will be further demand to backfill for RNs."

Because the Affordable Care Act places an emphasis on primary care, more lab tests and other prevention screenings will be needed, which increases the demand for diagnostic technicians along with other related healthcare occupations.

Some experts believe that the overall demand for workers in the allied healthcare fields may not be as large as others are predicting, mainly due to the fact that Medicare already covers just about everyone 65 years of age and older. A lot of the people receiving healthcare coverage for the first time because of the implementation of Obamacare are younger people who typically don't require as many healthcare services as senior citizens. Charles Roehrig, director of the Altarum Center for Studying Health Spending, stated, "Uninsured Americans already receive about 50 percent of the care they will receive when insured." Roehrig believes that there will be about a three percent increase in provided healthcare. Also, due to younger people requiring more ambulatory care, outpatient services will have the greatest increase in demand.

The impact of the Affordable Care Act is still a little murky due to uncertainties and the complexity of the law, however the demand for allied healthcare workers should grow even without it.

Brian Jenkins writes about physical therapy assisting careers, as well as other career fields in allied health, for the Riley Guide.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Working Holidays is Routine for Nurses

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In the past couple of weeks there has been such a fuss about retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day. I have to admit, the number of people appalled that anyone would ask someone to WORK on the holiday made me chuckle. I feel for them, but then, as all nurses know --- health care doesn't take holidays ever!! All nurses work more than their fair share of holidays all year round.

In fact, during holiday seasons things can get even more hectic and stressful  than usual. There can be a rush to discharge patients --right now, and then there are the "regulars" who seem to find their way back into the hospital. If you work home health care, you can find yourselves slammed with a flurry of new starts of care. Clinics, ERs, and medical offices are often very busy as well.

A strong sense of entitlement seems to be prominent as families frustrated at having their holidays interrupted can bring out the worst in them and in the patients too. 

Dealing with needy and emotionally challenged patients and families can be one of the worst nightmares for nurses who are just doing their part to work a share the holidays.

In an interview I gave to a few years ago, we discussed some options for dealing with the needy families and patients. I hope some of these ideas can help you survive the holiday season.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Best States for Nursing Job Opportunities

Nursing is already an in-demand career field, and the need for nurses is projected to increase further in the coming years. The U.S. Department of Health predicts 400,000 new nurses will be needed by 2015 just to cover the void left by retirees. That number jumps to more than 700,000 nurses needed by 2020.

This projected growth makes nursing one of the career paths with the most expansive job opportunities. The 2010-2020 Employment Projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts registered nursing will have a higher number of new jobs than any other industry with a 26% growth expected.

The BLS is a great place to start when looking for long-term career outlook. As of May 2011, the states with the highest number of registered nurses were California (250,230), Texas (184,890), New York (176,180), Florida (164,800) and Pennsylvania (130,740).

When it comes to pay, the BLS reported that as of May 2011, the highest annual mean wages per hour for registered nurses were California ($43.68), Massachusetts ($41.74), Hawaii ($40.36), Alaska ($39.46) and Nevada ($37.42).

Nursing opportunities are growing, so do the research to help determine the best place to launch or nourish a nursing career.

This post was provided by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about topics related to healthcare and nursing careers for U.S News University Directory, a leading resource for locating accredited colleges offering nursing degrees and RN to BSN online programs. For more information visit

(Please note the links may be a little slow to load, but the information is worth the wait! ~KQ)