The Healthcare Association of New York State, HANYS
) conducts periodic surveys on issues affecting the health care profession in that state.
One recent HANYS study showed that 80% of participating hospitals in New York indicated a nursing shortage. No surprise there since the federal Bureau of Health Professions projects a shortage of New York nurses of nearly 37,000 by 2015.
Quoting a recent press release from HANYS to announce survey findings; "The health care needs of “baby boomers” are growing. New York State’s population age 65 and older increased by 25% between 1980 and 2000."
According to a recent article in the Times Union, the healthcare labor shortage and workforce dilemma in the New York system is not just limited to a shortage of nurses.
The article explored the incentives that hospitals were now offering to potential hires as a way to attract needed Respiratory Therapists to the profession. In one case, students from Hudson Valley Community College were learning how to use high tech breathing equipment while working with patients in intensive care at Albany Medical Center Hospital. As an incentive for future employment contracts, these students were getting their tuition paid by the hospital.
Another recent HANYS study, "Falling Short: A Workforce in Decline," shared that:
- 82% of New York hospitals report difficulty finding lab technicians
- 79% reported that pharmacists and physical therapists are hard to find
- 63% reported that nursing positions were the most difficult to fill
- 34% found it difficult to find imaging technicians
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that Health care industry will generate 3 million new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016, more than any other industry. Additionally, from 2002-2012, half of the 20 fastest growing occupations will be found in the health services sector. These positions include :
- Medical Assistants - 59% growth
- Physician Assistants - 49% growth
- Home Health Aides - 48% growth
- Medical Records and Health Information Technicians - 47% growth
The Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao has committed approximately $35 million to address this national labor shortage. Based on the forums conducted by health care professionals the department of labor will focus solutions in specific areas such as attracting more youth to healthcare options and enhancing the capacity of educational institutions to meet greater training needs.
Vocational programs and career training that result in certificates or associate degrees offer great alternatives to get the required training quickly.