If you’re a physician or nurse looking for a job, you are in the best employment position in years. A Forbes article reported that the vacancy rates for physicians and nurses are approaching 20 percent in 2013. If you are a high school graduate looking for a career with a lot of potential for employment, you may want to consider a career in healthcare. What is driving the high vacancies is the expected need for more doctors and nurses to treat the 7 million new insured under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Don’t want to spend the money or take the time to become a physician or registered nurse. The future of healthcare includes more physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners. More of the work will be done by these certified healthcare workers, managed and directed by physicians.
The Affordable Care Act steers patients to clinics, health care centers and doctor’s offices and away from more costly hospitals and emergency rooms for health care. Nurse Practitioners and physician’s assistants will take on a lot of the personal patient care, such as seeing that patients take their medications and keep appointments. Large hospitals and insurers are banding together to provide health care and recruiting the professionals to provide the required services.
With many more health conditions covered by the ACA, there will be a greater need for physicians in many specialties as well. Just having health insurance for the first time will encourage people who would have ignored symptoms or treatment to get services. Greater accessibility translates to greater demand for services and the trained and certified individuals to provide services.
Higher demand will make the healthcare field more competitive. Job seekers may have more bargaining power for salaries, benefits, work schedules and fringe benefits when there is a shortage of qualified health care professionals.
While the ACA is supposed to bring in 7 million new insured, companies are reacting by cutting hours and benefits. The Huffington Post reported that Trader Joes dropped their long-standing policy of providing healthcare insurance for part-time employees working less than 30 hours per week. Some companies see that as a benefit to low wage earners, since these are the very people that most likely will qualify for subsidies, reducing the cost of healthcare insurance premiums.
Even with subsidies, the newly insured will have to get used to paying deductibles and co-pays. Healthcare workers will have to adjust to many new patients who are unfamiliar with the healthcare system, making more work and adding stress to the job.
New healthcare participants and the aging baby boomers will create lots of business for health care workers. This is good news for the economy and employment. With fewer high-paying jobs, it’s reassuring to see one industry that is creating professional jobs with good salaries and job security.
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