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#MeToo and the Medical Profession

#MeToo and the Medical Profession began open discussion only recently. Physician authors Holroyd-Laduc and Strauss write:  “In the era of #MeToo, it is time for physicians to acknowledge that the medical profession is not immune to bullying, harassment and discrimination, and act to abolish these behaviours.” They further ask:  “…why, with the MeToo movement, has there been no complaint against a prominent male physician?”  Published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) August 2018.

Health Care Careers – MDs, DOs and Other Health Professions (NAAHP)

The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) offers information on health careers for MDs, DOs and other health professions. Look into key information on becoming a physician (under Allopathic and Osteopathic), dentist, nurse, optometrist (eye doctor), pharmacist, PT, OT, or selected other health care careers.

Health Workforce Projections, Supply and Demand (HRSA)

Find workforce projections for many health professions, that look at supply and demand. By HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. Studies in the past 3 years show workforce needs to 2030. New studies published in 2020 include Oral Health Workforce (which estimates a shortage of nearly 5,000 general dentists by 2030), and Behavioral Health Workforce (which projects shortages in psychiatrists and addiction counselors. Potentially, the supply of psychologists and therapists will be adequate to meet demand, while there may be an excess of social workers and school counselors by 2030.) Key reports in 2018 examined demand for direct care workers (like nursing assistants, home health aides and personal care aides), and nursing workforce demand. Updated as reports are published.

Healthcare Employment Projections, U.S. to 2026 (pdf)

Healthcare Employment Projections is an overview by sector and by occupation for the period 2016 through 2026. Ten-year job growth rate for healthcare is projected to top 18%. This compares to non-healthcare expected growth of 6.1%. In the prior ten years, healthcare growth was about 20% to nonhealthcare growth of just 3%. In 2016, healthcare jobs represented 14% of the US economy. While 437,000 new Registered Nurses will be needed, the largest number of new healthcare jobs – a whopping 1,179,000 – will be needed in personal care and home health aide positions. From the NY Center for Health Workforce Studies at albany.edu, using Bureau of Labor Statistics projections. Published February 2018; 36 pages

HealthCare Occupations Outlook and Wages – US Dept. of Labor Editor's Pick

Healthcare wages and occupations outlook from the US Dept. of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the health care industry will grow 14% between 2018 and 2028, adding 1.9 million new jobs. Home health is one of the fastest growing, expected to be up by 36%. Home health aides and personal care aides will add almost 1.2 million jobs by 2028; hospitals, nursing homes and doctors’ offices will all add more than 400,000 jobs by 2026. RN (registered nurse) jobs will grow by 370,000 by 2028; median 2018 pay for RNs was $71,730. Nurse practitioner median pay was over $107,000. See growth rates, 2018 median wages, and outlook information here for more than 40 types of healthcare jobs;  Occupational Outlook Handbook is an excellent resource

Influenza Vaccination for Healthcare Personnel (Joint Commission)

Resources to improve influenza vaccination for healthcare personnel from The Joint Commission.  Joint Commission standards for immunizing health care personnel (HCPs) against influenza – both seasonal flu and pandemic flu. Strategies from research and best practices from others are shared in order to improve vaccination rates (to reach a 90% goal), thereby protecting both patients and staff, and reducing the spread of influenza. Updated December 2017.

Nurses and Other Highly Rated Healthcare Professionals – Gallup Poll

Nurses top the list of highly rated healthcare professionals, according to this annual Gallup poll. In the latest poll, reported in January 2020, 85% of Americans say nurses’ honesty and ethical standards are “very high” or “high.” Ratings of nurses were almost 20 points higher than the next best professionals: engineers (rated high or very high by 66%).  Also in the top five, were health professionals medical doctors (65%), pharmacists (64%) and dentists (61%). Hands down, nurses are seen as highly trustworthy. In general, key healthcare staff rate well for honesty and ethical behavior. At the bottom of the list were car and insurance salespeople, as well as Senators and Members of Congress.

Pandemic Flu Guide for Healthcare Workers – OSHA (pdf)

OSHA’s pandemic flu guide helps hospitals and healthcare workers get ready and respond to an influenza pandemic. Addresses clinical information about influenza, infection control and hand hygiene, employee vaccination, protective equipment, self-triage guidelines if you have flu symptoms, and more. Practical and well-referenced. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance for Healthcare Workers and Healthcare Employers is 103 pages; updated for 2009. Other pandemic publications also at this site.

Wages for occupations in health care (BLS)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows average salary / wages for hospital RNs ($77,670/year), and other healthcare occupations. Scroll to Table, and sort by Employment to see the largest categories of employees. Average salary for Physicians and Dentists also listed. National employment data updated May 2018

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Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (AHRQ) Editor's Pick

The AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture now has 2.0 Pilot Test results for 2019. The pilot survey shows an overview of findings from 25 hospitals. A more comprehensive report is available to 2018. Survey results from 382,834 hospital staff members (54% avg. response rate) in 630 participating hospitals in 2018 provide a baseline on the patient safety culture in US hospitals. While teamwork within units, and supervisors promoting safety received relatively high marks, handoffs and transitions, as well as nonpunitive response to errors were identified as weak areas. Just half of respondents indicated staff felt free to question the decisions or actions of those with more authority. Less than half of staff were positive about transferring patients from one unit to another (pharmacy and lab staff especially reported this as a major concern), or about hospital units coordinating with each other (Emergency, Anesthesiology and Psych/Mental Health staff ranked this the lowest). ER staff expressed concerns about working in crisis mode too often, trying to do too much too quickly. See Charts 5-1 and 5-2 and Tables 6-1, 6-2 for the overview. Detailed breakouts by position and department are in the appendixes. Published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ, March 2018. Pilot test results for 2019 were published in September 2019.

Surveys on Patient Safety Culture (SOPS) can also be accessed from this AHRQ web page for medical offices, nursing homes (see listing below), community pharmacies and ambulatory surgery centers.

Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture

The AHRQ Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture shows staff opinions in the 2019 database. Survey results from over 10,000 nursing home staff members (52% avg. response rate) in 191 participating nursing homes provide a baseline on the safety culture for residents in US nursing homes. While overall perceptions of resident safety, feedback about incidents, and supervisors promoting safety received relatively high marks, there were a number of low-scoring areas. Nursing home staffing received the lowest ratings of any category, especially having enough staff to handle the workload, and having to hurry or use shortcuts because staff have too much work to do. Perceptions that staff are blamed when a resident is harmed, and staff opinions being ignored in their nursing home also were lower-scoring areas. See Charts 5-1 and 5-2 for the overview. Detailed breakouts by position and type of nursing home are in the appendixes. In general, large nursing homes of 200 beds or more scored the lowest; staff at nursing homes with under 50 beds tended to score items the highest. Only 44% of staff at large nursing homes gave an overall rating on resident safety of “excellent” or “very good”. Breakouts of opinions held by nursing assistants compared to other employee groups are enlightening. Published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ, February 2019.

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