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Healthcare Staffing Shortages: Causes and Solutions

The healthcare industry is growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.” As the healthcare industry grows with the increasing aging population, it continues to face a massive problem: staffing shortages. Because of the growing demand for longer and more intense care for patients in nursing homes, the gap between the ratio of patients and available staff to care for them grows larger every day.

Staffing shortages impact patient safety and care, employee morale, and overall staff and patient satisfaction. According to a study titled,The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers”, there are four main reasons behind the staff shortages in healthcare:

  • The aging Baby Boomer population has a greater need and intensity for care

  • The current healthcare workforce is aging and retiring

  • Less skilled workers are entering the healthcare field

  • Chronic health issues are increasing

Frankly put, without more caregivers, patients will not receive care. According to the World Health Organization, “The world is facing a situation without precedent: We soon will have more older people than children and more people at extreme old age than ever before. As both the proportion of older people and the length of life increase throughout the world… global efforts are required to understand and find cures or ways to prevent such age-related diseases.” However, staffing shortages can be mitigated by:

  • Utilizing staffing agencies

  • Flexible scheduling options for working professionals

  • Cross-training staff

  • Fostering better health and wellbeing for aging populations

  • Encouraging community care initiatives

  • More accessible healthcare education

The bottom line is simple: short staffing can only be overcome by planning ahead. Whether it's nursing facilities, educational institutions, social or political policies, overcoming staffing shortage now and in the future will come from implementing strategies that allow the aging population to stay healthy longer and offer supplemental support for healthcare staff.

If your nursing facility is in need of supplemental staffing support, Kindcare is here to help. Call us at (866) 62-STAFF today!

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