The healthcare industry is undergoing lots of changes, which will have a tremendous impact on medical professionals and the public at large. These include demographic shifts, policy reforms, and new technologies. The nursing profession is among those that are projected to benefit the most. The Labor Department projects that the demand for nurses will surge over the next decade and beyond. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities will face a shortage of qualified RNs if nothing is done about it in the college level. The right number of students should get adequate training and education to prevent the looming shortage.
Aging Baby Boomers
The Baby Boomer generation, born in the years after World War II, is now slipping into retirement age. They comprise roughly 80 million individuals who will need increasing care as they grow older and develop more ailments. As early as 2010, a study showed that nearly two-thirds of boomers have already been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, or other chronic diseases. This generates an astounding pressure on the medical industry to serve their needs with lab tests, prescription drugs, hospitalization, and home care. Nurses will have to be on hand to attend to them and monitor their progress.
Increased demand is not the only issue being faced by the industry. The supply side has its own problems to deal with. One third of current nurses are over 50 years of age and will march into retirement themselves very soon. The Great Recession a few years
ago convinced many senior nurses to postpone their retirement and save up some more. However, they cannot stay in the workforce forever. They will eventually have to hang their cap and leave hundreds of thousands of jobs behind. The next generation should be there to fill the gap.
Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act is seen to have a profound impact on the nursing industry, as about 30 million individuals will suddenly become insured. Most of these people have very low incomes and tend to ignore medical concerns for as long as they can. With
insurance, they will have the capacity to get treatment for both minor and major health issues. They can also have their children taken care of. Doctors and nurses will be busy managing the influx of new patients. They are likely to require additional staff with the proper education to cope with the workload.
Geriatric nurses will be particularly sought after as a result of all these changes. They specialize in providing medical care for seniors in hospitals, long-term facilities, and patient homes. It is worth noting that 50% of hospital admissions are for people above the age of 65. Advancing age often comes with decreased immunity, longer recovery times, reduced cognitive abilities, and physical decline. With the right care, however, these natural processes can be slowed down so that patients could enjoy their independence for many more years.
As for those who are already suffering from multiple diseases, nurses will see to it that they get the prescribed medicines at the correct dosage and at the right time. They will continually monitor and analyze the cognitive skills of their patients and alert doctors if higher intervention is required. Nurses will also discuss pertinent issues with both the patient and the family so that they can adjust accordingly. Concerned parties must understand the risks in personal safety and do what they can to prevent illnesses as well as accidents from the outset. It is vital for the new generation of nursing professionals to obtain a high degree of education and skills development to cope with the demands of thejob.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education and technology. In this article, he talks about the future of the nursing industry. Several highlights include a generational gap and advancements in technology. He aims to encourage further medical education with a gerontology degree online.
The Future Of Nursing
February 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment