Health Care Professionals
Shana N. Settle
May 29, 2011
Dr. Kevin Williams
Health Care Professionals
1. Identify and describe three reasons there may be a physician shortage rather than a surplus in the United States.
There is no denying the fact that there has been a dramatic surplus of employment in a diversity of categories, in the health sector in the United States over the last 30 years, which is a astonishing reflection of the essential place health and health care possesses in the lives of Americans, yet traditional health care occupations- physicians, dentists, and pharmacists- have declined, some dramatically. In regards to ...view middle of the document...
S. population, majorly by immigration. One-third of the U.S. population’s growth was due to legal immigration. Our current population is “roughly 297 million” and is expected to “increase to slightly over 400 million by 2050” (Williams & Torrens, 2009, p. 270).
A third fact, and reluctantly added chauvinistic viewpoint, is recent surplus of women incorporating the medical field. Heavily influenced by this new incorporation surplus, physicians “now favor a more controllable lifestyle” (Williams & Torrens, 2009, p.270). Younger doctors now desire a different lifestyle that allows for a more flexible schedule- weekends off, limit on the number of hours worked a week, and other amenities that allow for a life outside of the workplace (Williams & Torrens, 2009, p. 270). (To me, these are normal requests for any laborer, not just women, even for physicians.) However, these preferences have had and will continue to effectively reduce the amount of time available for patient care.
2. Identify and describe three factors that contribute to the nursing shortage in the United States.
Registered nurses are the largest group of licensed health care professionals in the United States, and even though most nurses are women with men candidates on the rise, there is a shortage despite an increase in the number of nurses employed. The possible factors influencing this theory is the lack of prospective nursing school enrollees, subsequently aging nurses in the workforce, and the emergence of alternative job opportunities (Williams & Torrens, 2009).
For starters, there has been an annual decrease in the number of nursing school students during 1995 to 2000 (Williams & Torrens, 2009). However, from 2001 to 2006 there was a slight reversal of this trend but not enough to assure the federal government; they propose that the number of graduates must be 90 percent annually in order to meet the current nursing shortage, and therefore we are falling short on what will be needed (Williams & Torrens, 2009). When added with the aging of the current RN workforce, which has an average age of 43, I can see the reason for concern. The lack of new nursing school graduates, the higher average age of the recent graduates, and the current aging of the existing nurses are all viable contributing factors. Not to mention the fact that many of these current graduating nurses are choosing alternative employment opportunities. The staggering number of nurses that relinquished their nursing licenses from 1996 to 2000 was 175,000, and this number is projected to double by 2020 (Williams & Torrens, 2009). Furthermore, there are 500,000 licensed nurses not employed as nurses. I...