by Debbonnaire Kovacs

by Debbonnaire Kovacs
submitted April 16, 2014

For some years now, it’s been common understanding that our need for healthcare workers is far outstripping the supply. According to an article posted in 2010 by Soliant, the shortage of healthcare workers is “America’s next healthcare epidemic,” and “we are not along; most of the world will face similar problems in the next 10 years, and many nations are already in crisis.” The article goes on to say that President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, while potentially “improv[ing] the overall
health and welfare of the entire United States by catching potential health issues early, educating patients and exercising preventative care,” and thus favorably affecting the entire economy, will, in the short run, make the crisis even worse, as more patients seek care they couldn’t afford before. []
According to ,
“A new study predicts that the U.S. economy will need 5.6 million more healthcare workers in the next eight years, and most of the workers will need to have a postsecondary education or training. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce predicts 82% of those positions will require extra schooling or training by 2020. For technical and professional occupations, the requirements rise, as 94% will need the extra schooling or training. Researchers conclude that healthcare occupations over the 10 years from 2010 to 2020 will grow by about 27%, to 19.8 million from 15.6 million. That represents the fastest growing sector in the U.S., as production will rise by more than 70%, from $1.8 trillion to $3.1 trillion over the same decade. ‘Because of growing demand for services and low productivity, the demand for healthcare workers over the next decade will grow nearly twice as fast as the national economy,’ the study's authors wrote.”
Seventh-day Adventist hospitals would like to be part of the solution. “We feel it is important to engage our youth in a positive way and help them discover what a great career health care can be,” said Tanya Hutchison, Volunteer Resources director for Adventist Health Central Valley Network, in California. “Our employees will be great mentors for our youth.”
Enter “Discover Health Care: Volunteer Summer Program.” Clay Ipsen, Assistant Director of Volunteer Resources, describes the program as an opportunity for area high school and college students to learn more about the field of health care by volunteering for part of their summer break at one of several Adventist Health hospitals in central California. Ipsen says volunteers will give 100 hours over the course of the summer and can learn about four different core career sessions: physician, nurse, other health care careers such as technicians, physical therapists, and clinical engineers, and presenting yourself—how to do well in interviews.
Mrk Babiarz, Selma High School principal, says he is actively seeking “any students in grades 9 to 12 who are committed to serving their community and learning about health care to join the program. [It will] provide high school students in the Valley the opportunity to learn about the many professions in the health care field as well as proved students the opportunity to provide community service to their community.”
“We are excited to be partnering with local high schools, technical schools and universities to promote this program. Our slogan for the program is, ‘Volunteer Your Passion. Discover Your Career’,” says Ipsen.… 3/21/2014