The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the healthcare industry to be among the top growing industries. The 2016-2026 projections indicate that this industry will account for one-fifth of all new job growth opportunities by 2026.
While this means medical workers will have plenty of opportunities, it also illustrates the shortage medical facilities face. The shortage of medical workers extends to not just physicians, but nurses as well. Why are we seeing a shortage of healthcare workers in the industry and how can temporary medical contractors aid facilities and healthcare staff during the shortage?
Why is a healthcare shortage happening?
Before we dive into the ways temporary medical contractors can help bridge the gap in healthcare shortages, it’s important we address why the shortage is occurring. According to Health Services Research, by 2030 sixty-one million people will be between the ages of 66 and 84. These aging baby boomers and they will make up a good deal of our population. In fact, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2030.
What does this mean? As people age, they need more health care. The National Council on Aging states, “80 % of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two.” The need for additional healthcare workers is evident by the aging population. However, many of our nurses are retiring and a large gap exists between them and new nursing graduates.
Solutions through temporary medical contractors
During the transitional time, while the industry catches up to meet the demand for nurses, medical contractors can fill the gap. How can this solution work for medical facilities?
The following are 3 ways medical contractors can bridge the gap in healthcare shortages:
Bring healthcare to rural areas
Some areas may be harder hit by the shortage of nurses. In some rural areas, the number of nurses and other essential healthcare and medical workers living in the town can be frighteningly low.
However, medical contractors often travel from other locations to meet the demand. They can stay for as little or long as needed, which makes it convenient for the medical facility. In addition, the contractor decides whether this is a position in which he or she wants to commit. So, you know you are getting someone who is dedicated to finishing the contract. This brings needed medical care to areas that have a greater deficit of specialty positions as well.
Close the coverage gap during busy seasons
Certain months are busier for medical facilities than others. March is one of the busiest times of the year – probably due to the beginning of allergy season. January remains a close second though, and August was another month that spiked high in sick patients. During these busy times, bringing in a medical contractor provides relief for a medical facility. Physicians may not need someone year-round, so it’s a boost to contract a qualified nurse during times when needed.
Provide coverage during an absence or leave
When the flu hits your medical facility, there’s a chance some of your nurses will be out sick. This could extend for several weeks. In the meantime, you’ll need back up. Trying to run the office without a much-needed nurse will soon prove difficult. Chances are the flu may be affecting many of your patients as well. Bringing in a medical contractor is a big convenience for your facility.
As we see more of our population reaching the senior age and in need of more healthcare, medical facilities must step up to meet the demand. Although the nursing population is retiring, medical contractors provide a solution for both the physician and the nurses. Just in Time Staffing provides solutions for the healthcare industry.