Friday, May 28, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
My thanks again to Karen for including me in this exciting project, and please consider ordering a copy or asking your local library to do so!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
With one third of all pregnancies in the United States now ending in Caesarean Section, many midwives and supporters of natural childbirth feel that birth has become yet another cash cow for the American medical industry, with home birth becoming more rare (and less legal) as the decades pass. Some American cities and towns have even made public breastfeeding a crime, adding further insult to injury for women who choose natural childbirth and breastfeeding as a lifestyle choice in the interest of the health and well-being of their baby.
Despite the fact that home birth and midwifery are quite popular in other industrialized nations with advanced medical infrastructures (30% of babies in the Netherlands are born at home), the United States medical establishment still vilifies home birth as foolish and dangerous. In fact, the US has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the industrialized world (16.7 per 100,000 live births) as compared to The Netherlands' maternal mortality rate of 7.6% or Italy's rate of 3.9%. Amnesty International has even called the United States' childbirth track record "a human rights crisis".
With the current situation in New York City, home births are now illegal and midwives providing maternal care in the home do so at their own risk and without legal or medical support. As one of the most famous and progressive cities on earth, New York City has now become a home birth backwater, creating a crisis for the midwives and families who choose this natural alternative to the American medical industry's industrialization of childbirth.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
As older nurses continue to retire and the Baby Boomers enter their golden years, the demand for nurses certainly seems to continue unabated. Recent reports, however, indicate that a strained economy is forcing many nurses who used to enjoy part-time or per diem work back into full-time positions, making competition for jobs more challenging for new nurses entering the field. And with nursing schools overwhelmed with applicants and short on professors to teach those fledgling nurses, many would-be nursing students may turn to other allied health professions like Occupational, Physical, or Speech Therapy.
A recent article published in the South Florida Business Journal cites a new study by The Florida Center for Nursing which concludes that attrition from the nursing profession is far greater than the influx of new nurses. For example, in the last two years, the number of nurses in Florida increased by 27,000, however more than 50% of that gain was offset by nurses leaving the field, making the net gain of nurses around 11,000.
With more than 3 million registered nurses in the United States at this time, it's clear that the profession is still holding its own as one of the backbones of the health care industry. Still, with a shortage of qualified professors due to a large wave of retirements and few willing to replace them due to better salaries for clinical positions, all signs indicate that the overall shortage of nurses will continue to plague the United States---and most of the world---for some time to come.
In my view, geriatrics and long term care are sure bets for future nursing job opportunities, and those who are willing to pursue an advanced degree as Nurse Practitioners specializing in geriatrics will likely be readily employable in most regions of the country, especially those areas most popular with retirees.
I am thrilled that my cousin is pursuing the family legacy of a nursing career, and I pray that she will be accepted to the school of her choice and be readily employed upon her graduation. Still, one must be realistic that the calculus of the nursing shortage and the opportunities for employment have indeed changed since the days when new grads waltzed into jobs demanding any salary they pleased. Despite the shortage, competition for jobs is stiff, and the competition to get into nursing school equally as difficult.
For myself, having taken almost a year off for travel and writing, I am readying myself to look for a job in the Santa Fe area where my wife and I plan to spend the summer, if not the next year. While I may be fluent in Spanish and have a relatively impressive resume (home health, community health, hospice, and public health), I have never worked in a hospital and thus am somewhat limited in the type of nursing jobs I can pursue. I do not anticipate finding work to be overly challenging, but in the current climate, I realize that it may not be as simple as it once may have been. And with new grads flooding the market and willing to work for less than seasoned nurses accustomed to higher wages, perhaps finding the perfect part-time nursing job may be more challenging than I originally anticipated.
There's no question that nurses are highly trusted professionals who are sorely needed by an aging population. But in the current economic climate, can enough well-paying jobs be created for the seasoned nurses and new grads who are more than willing to don their scrubs and get to work? Only time---and economic forces---will tell.
Monday, May 10, 2010
During Nurses Week, Dr. Dean over at The Millionaire Nurse Blog is running a 100% anonymous survey with the goal of gathering data on nurses' salaries, investment habits and savings habits in order to help him develop products and services to benefit nurses financially. You can take the survey by clicking here. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered in a drawing for several prizes, so why not give it a try?
Also, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's death, Black Dog Publishing is releasing Nurse: Past, Present and Future---The Making of Modern Nursing, edited by Kate Trant and Susan Usher. This new book examines the evolution of nursing internationally, and readers of Digital Doorway have been offered 40% off the purchase price. If you would like to take advantage of the offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Digital Doorway, or simply email me directly.
Here is a description of the book from their website:
Nurse: Past, Present and Future: The Making of Modern Nursing examines the culture of nursing on all levels, from its historical development to its status today. The book highlights the power and value of nurses worldwide, and traces the evolution of nursing as a career.
Nurse: Past, Present and Future discusses the importance of nursing to economics across the world, the impact of nurse migration patterns. The book traces the evolution of the nurse’s social standing, appearance, education and skill set, and examines some of the key debates now underway. These are put into context with a look at how nursing has progressed through the twentieth century in response to changes in medicine and society.Includes essays from key figures in nursing and first hand accounts from nurses working today. Thoroughly illustrated, comprehensive and global in scope, Nurse is the first book of its kind, dedicated to the past, present and future of the culture of nursing.
Happy Nurses Week to all, and remember that every patient deserves a nurse!