The US population is an aging society, which underscores the demand for professionals in the healthcare industry. By the year 2030, the over-65 population is expected to triple. Six out of ten baby boomers will manage more than one chronic health condition. And forecasts predict there will be eight times more knee replacements performed by 2030 than today. This illustrates the increasing demand for qualified healthcare professionals such as patient care technicians, medical assistants, therapeutic massage practitioners, surgical technologists, LPNs, RNs, and other medical personnel to answer the need for more procedures and more treatments for a growing segment of our population.
The Nursing Shortage
The aging workforce places demand on the services of nurses and others in the healthcare industry. Each year, there is an increase in the number of ER visits by seniors. As older nurses retire, there are not enough new nurses entering the workforce to keep up with employment demands. In 2005, the nursing shortage registered about 220,000 openings. The demand by 2020 is expected to top one million open positions. These growing numbers reveal the value of selecting a career in the medical industry.
As the need for nurses outgrows available resources, some responsibilities shift to other healthcare professionals such as medical assistants and patient care technicians who can help administer to the large population of seniors needing healthcare. Many nurses balance multiple patients at the same time in an effort to deliver care to as many patients as possible in the most time efficient way. By working as healthcare provider teams, the allied health professional can provide basic patient assessments and prescribed treatments and share the responsibility with the LPN, the RN and the physician to deliver quality care.
The Workforce Demands
Baby boomers are enjoying an increase in longevity thanks to technology, advances in medicine, and healthier lifestyles. Receiving training to serve the geriatric population is critical to healthcare providers who will see this segment comprise a larger percentage of their patient base. An aging population brings with it increased incidences of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, vision and eye problems and other age-related conditions.
The Future of Nursing and Healthcare
As employment needs increase and positions become harder to fill, the job outlook becomes more attractive to the individuals with training and qualifications. Pay for these critical, specialized jobs is expected to increase. Many healthcare facilities are willing to pay nurses and other healthcare practitioners a higher salary to help handle patient demand. Pursuing a career in the healthcare industry has never been more attractive.
Are you caring, compassionate, adept at multitasking and well-organized? Perhaps you should consider a career in the healthcare industry, especially taking a closer look at jobs such as medical assisting, nursing, surgical technology, therapeutic massage, patient care or other healthcare industry roles. Visit www.pti.edu/programs/school-of-healthcare or www.pti.edu/programs/school-of-nursing for more information on how to start your education and earn a degree or certificate in two years or less.