Problems Facing Health Care Workers Today

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When people go to hospitals they expect treatment of high standards. Health care workers do their best to see that patients recover and are doing well. However these workers have a lot of challenges that one would be surprised how they are able to deliver.

The increasing number of patients that doctors and nurses must treat are affecting patient care and these workers’ quality of work and life. Health care worker shortages are making these problems worse and the inability of many people to pay for health care coverage makes them hard to treat. Difficult working conditions in some parts of the country and the rising number of retirees who may need advanced care are sure to test dwindling resources, too.

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Everyone would like to advance in their career field. This however is not the case for most health workers. Moving up the ladder proves quite difficult for them.

Lack of advancement opportunities. Fifty-one percent of healthcare workers said lack of advancement opportunities posed a significant challenge in their current or previous position. The number was slightly lower among nurses: 49 percent of nurses identified advancement opportunities as a challenge, compared to 52 percent of other healthcare professionals.

The CareerBuilder survey also asked healthcare professionals if their current or most recent employer offered a number of different employee development programs, including in-house skills training, education reimbursement, technology training and opportunity for innovation. Of the 10 programs listed, only one — in-house skills training — was answered “yes” by more than 50 percent of survey takers. Interestingly, employers felt differently: In response to the same question, more than 50 percent of employers said they offered in-house skills training, education reimbursement, flexible work schedules, cross-training and the opportunity to mentor others.

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In health care institutions there are health care assistants who help the other health workers. Things are not easy for them too. The main problem is the lack of standards nationally. Most of the times they are like robots who must wait for the next direction.

The main issue facing healthcare assistants is that there are no national core standards, and that there is a huge variation in what they’re allowed to do and where they are allowed to do it. Some people perform advanced practitioner duties when they are a band 2, and yet they should be paid band 4. It’s so inconsistent – often what an HCA is allowed to do is dependent on who they are working with because some supervisors and nurses are prepared to delegate and others are not. Registrants are also uncertain about what they can and can not delegate, and they can feel guilty about delegating their work to someone who is only being paid as a band.

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Health care workers provide a lot of care but the same care is not extended to them in terms of salary value. They are not paid well and this is a demotivating factor in the work place.

Do we really believe that poor, unfair treatment of care support workers will give us the standard of care we demand? Society should put its money where its indignation is, says John Kennedy.

Today has seen the publication of a new report into the training and supervision of healthcare assistants in the NHS and social care.

Whilst the report highlights some alarmingly bad practice and poor support for these workers it also talks of providers with some excellent practice.

In amongst the usual recommendations about more training and ‘tougher’ management, there are some glimpses of a more fundamental truth we would be wise to reflect upon.

Cavendish said: “Patient safety in the NHS and social care depends on recognizing the contribution of support workers, valuing and training them as part of a team.

“For people to get the best care there must be less complexity and duplication and a greater focus on ensuring that support staff are treated with the seriousness they deserve – for some of them are the most caring of all.”

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