Many people who work in healthcare were originally motivated by passion. They pursued senior care because they wanted to help people and to make a real and meaningful difference in the world. Of course, working in the healthcare industry has always been tough: long hours can slowly (or not so slowly) lead to burnout – but working in this industry in the midst of a global pandemic has only made things that much more difficult.
This article will discuss some of the major concerns currently facing senior care workers (and healthcare workers in general) and what this means for the industry both now and in the future.
The Current State of the Healthcare Industry
Some experts have said that the healthcare industry is currently facing an exodus – and that is not too far from the truth. Recent studies have found that more than a quarter of American healthcare workers has considered resignation because of the pandemic, with about 15% thinking about leaving the healthcare industry entirely. Others are now thinking about early retirement or state that they would rather work in another country.
The reason? People are exhausted. They are stressed and worried about their own health or the health of their families. Many have been disappointed with how their facility handled the COVID-19 crisis. Underfunding and staffing shortages have only made things more difficult.
What the Future Looks Like
Even if leaving the industry is only temporary, this will still have a grave impact on the healthcare industry. The American Journal of Medical Quality estimates that there will be a shortage of at least half a million nurses in the next decade. And, it should be noted, this estimate came before the fallout from coronavirus; it is safe to assume that these numbers could rise significantly.
Not to mention, demand for workers in senior living is growing as Baby Boomers continue to age. As an additional 40 million Americans become eligible for Medicare, more healthcare workers will be needed to care for them. For this reason, the nursing industry is projected to grow about seven percent over the next ten years, which is just about double the national average.
Luckily, it does seem like there is also some good news on the horizon. Even as many consider leaving the healthcare industry, more are beginning to see it as a career option. In fact, medical school applications are up nearly 20%. This could also result from the global pandemic when the entire country saw firsthand just how essential healthcare workers are.
While we cannot know exactly what the future holds, it definitely pays to check in with your current staff and make sure that programs are in place that can provide them with the emotional support they need at this incredibly difficult time.