How the Economy Affects Healthcare Staffing

It’s a sore point with most people today, but no matter what we think of it, a nation’s economy plays an important role in the quality of life and lifestyle of each of its citizens. It is the umbrella under which our personal finances are sheltered, and if this umbrella lets in the rain of financial woes because it has a leak or is not sturdy enough, then something must be first done to repair the umbrella before tackling the personal losses faced by a multitude of citizens. The economy of the US has no doubt taken a severe beating over the past few years, what with the housing crash and the stock market debacle that saw hundreds of thousands lose their jobs and/or their roofs over their head in one devastating blow. And although it is limping back to normalcy, it has wreaked its havoc on almost business.

In the healthcare sector, the economy has taken its toll by leaving people without healthcare coverage and forcing them to go without health care even when they really need it. In the healthcare staffing department however, it has caused just a few ripples as opposed to the tidal waves that it has generated in other manufacturing and service sectors. In general however, employment in the healthcare sector is expected to be on the upswing because of various factors:

  • The number of baby boomers has gone up and is increasing by the year. Their healthcare needs alone are enough to increase demand for nurses and other healthcare professionals who look after the needs of the elderly.
  • Americans as a whole have become an unhealthy lot – with obesity and its associated ills on the rise, the number of people who require regular healthcare has increased over the last decade or so. Diabetes, cardiac disease, stroke, cancer and other chronic and even life threatening conditions are all caused by sedentary lifestyles and a poor diet choice, and because we are deluged with junk food and an easy life thanks to technology and other conveniences, the entire nation is more in need of healthcare.
  • People have also started to become more health conscious and more interested in the preventive aspects of healthcare. This means that primary care nurses and doctors are more in demand for their counseling and advisory services.
  • Primary care physicians and nurse practitioners are also in demand because they are more cost effective for most people and covered by their regular health insurance policies.
  • The prospects for travel nurses and physiotherapists are also good as more and more healthcare facilities rely on temporary staff to take care of their pressing but non-permanent needs.

So in a nutshell, while the economy has raised the costs of healthcare in general, it has not had any negative effect on the prospects and employment options for healthcare professionals.