27 Aug There is a Greater Need for Care than Ever Before in the Health Care Industry
The current healthcare industry as we know it is facing a crisis and has been facing this crisis for years. The issue at hand is the rapid aging and retirement of large percentages of healthcare workers, while the general population ages and shows higher percentages of chronic diseases that need treatment.
But how does this contribute to a lower number of healthcare workers available and how does this create a healthcare crisis?
The Aging Population
Since 2008 studies have shown that the older populations are very large and aging very quickly alongside the healthcare workers who are supplying healthcare to them. While aging populations are normal and expected, the sheer numbers are much higher than previously experienced by healthcare workers in the past.
Life expectancies have grown longer over the decades, meaning that the older generations of today are living far longer than the majority of their parents and grandparents did. This gives much more time for new issues and healthcare needs to show up.
Even though their life expectancy is longer, it does not factor in the care that these older folks need. To top this section off, the aging healthcare workers often end up requiring healthcare assistance as well, meaning that more and more healthcare workers are needed in an industry that already struggles to keep up with demand.
Chronic Health Issues
Chronic diseases have also become a large section of public health and healthcare issues, as higher percentages are reported each year due to cultural lifestyle changes. Obesity, heart conditions, and nutritional issues are some of the most prevailing issues in the United States today that did not stem from lack of healthcare workers, but lack of self-care education.
In schools, children are often given food that is cheap in the cafeteria and there is limited education on how to take care of your body to keep it healthy and happy. Due to this fact, years of children grew up not understanding the importance of healthy foods.
Additionally, poorer communities typically have higher rates of obesity and heart disease stemming from unhealthy diets because food that is processed and unhealthy is much cheaper than healthy foods that keep your body functioning properly.
All of these issues circle back to healthcare because the healthcare workers end up being the ones trying to assist people suffering from these issues.
One of the biggest problems, however, is the number of prospective nursing students who are rejected from healthcare programs in colleges and universities. These programs typically reject students due to limited capacity to maintain an “exclusive” or “prestigious” reputation. In 2012 alone, around 80,000 qualified students were rejected from these nursing programs.
These issues must be addressed in health and higher education, as well as factored into conversations about wealth inequality and inequity.