Communities of Interest - Health Care Workforce
The Leader of this COI is Pat Gorman.
She works at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) where she is the library's health sciences liaison. Her past experience includes working as a medical librarian at a community teaching hospital and in various public libraries. As a personal interest, she has studied homeopathy and has a keen interest in integrative medicine. She also worked for a number of years at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa Israel. She is a member of the NAHSL Education Committee and is secretary and CE Chair for ARIHSL.
| The facilitator of this COI is Stephanie Friree. |
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Health workforce is a broad term which encompasses the many individuals with and without professional degrees required to deliver healthcare in today's complex environment" (AAHC "Out of Order, Out of Time"). The Health Care Workforce theme is concerned with issues and trends related to the composition, distribution, preparation, and ongoing development of students and professionals in the health care setting. The Workforce issue is also concerned with the response to areas that do not have sufficient health care services. NER approaches the Workforce theme from a broad multi-faceted perspective in the context of a changing population with varying educational levels and challenges in access to health care.
Education levels for health care training vary; many of the occupations require less than a 4 year degree. Community Colleges are expanding programs to address the training needs of these professions. Detailed information for the New England schools is noted in each of the state profiles. Broadening training to include larger segments of the workforce means conducting outreach to community colleges and other vocational training programs in the health services. Three medical schools in New England, Tufts University, UMass Medical School, and Dartmouth College, expanded enrollment. New medical school programs are currently being established.
Disparities/Challenges: "Racial and ethnic minority health care professionals are significantly more likely than their white peers to serve minority and medically underserved communities..." (In the Nation's Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce). In Connecticut, where African Americans and Hispanics make up more than 18% of the population, less than 5% of doctors and 8% of the Registered Nurses are Black or Hispanic. A shortage exists among Hispanic Registered Nurses across New England.
US health-worker shortages are related to a number of factors, including aging of the nursing workforce, high turnovers of existing health-care workers, and the US educational system not keeping up with demand. (Migration Information Source, http://www.migrationinformation.org/usfocus/). In addition, the aging population in general will affect the demand and shortage challenges. The implementation of HealthIT initiatives and the push for broad and meaningful use of electronic health records will increase the need for a skilled and better trained workforce across practitioners and healthcare support staff.
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You can learn more about the Healthcare Workforce COI by perusing the achives of our blog: