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The Frontline Health and Health Care Workforce Who are they, what are their issues, and why should we care? Investing in Healthcare’s Human Capital Health Professions Network Meeting Jennifer Schindel PhD Health Workforce Solutions LLC. March 17, 2006. Why focus on this workforce segment?.

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The Frontline Health and Health Care Workforce

Who are they, what are their issues, and why should we care?

Investing in Healthcare’s Human Capital

Health Professions Network Meeting

Jennifer Schindel PhD

Health Workforce Solutions LLC

March 17, 2006

why focus on this workforce segment
Why focus on this workforce segment?

Goal:

Target the segment of the healthcare workforce that…

  • Has a high level of direct impact on patient care
  • Plays a major role in quality and cost of care and services

And yet…

  • Possess minimal opportunities to direct and enhance their own career trajectory
  • Is generally underrepresented within research efforts targeting the health and health care workforce
the frontline health and health care workforce
The Frontline Health and Health Care Workforce
  • ~ 12.3M workers deliver direct patient care and services
  • ~ 6.5M of these workers represent the profiled frontline workforce

12.3M

Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, all healthcare support roles

6.5M

Frontline Workforce

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004 Occupational Employment Statistics

what occupations constitute this workforce
What occupations constitute this workforce?
  • High levels of direct care or service
  • Education levels generally at a Bachelor degree or below*
  • Median annual wage ~ $40,000 or less

* Some occupations with advanced degrees were included in this study when there was a wide range of education level within the profession (e.g. Counselors).

profiled frontline workforce occupations
Profiled Frontline Workforce Occupations

Allied health

Mental health

Long-term care

Public health

demographics
Demographics
  • 79% Female
  • 28% African American or Hispanic

Male

28%

African American/Hispanic

21%

67%

White

Female

79%

Source: Employment and Earnings, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2005

NOTE: For some occupational categories, BLS aggregated demographic data across several occupations.

Thus, some data for related occupations not included in this study are aggregated into these number.

demographics cont
Demographics (cont.)

Several occupations report significant aging worker populations:

  • Average age of Long-Term Care Workers = 48
  • Average age of Health Educators = 47
  • 30% of Social Workers and 48% of Certified Counselors are over the age of 55
  • 50% of Clinical Lab Technicians will be eligible for retirement by 2010
wage outlook
Wage Outlook

2004 Mean Annual Wage for all FLWF Occupations = $31, 463

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004 Occupational Employment Statistics

wage outlook cont
Wage Outlook (cont.)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004 Employment and Wage Statistics

occupational projections

2002-2012 Employment Growth

10,000,000

8.6M

31.7% increase

8,000,000

6.5M

6,000,000

4,000,000

2,000,000

0

2002 Employment

2012 Employment

2002-2012 Employment Growth + Separations

9.7M

10,000,000

48.6% increase

8,000,000

6.5M

6,000,000

4,000,000

2,000,000

0

2002 Employment

2012 Employment + Sep.

Occupational Projections

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004-2005 Occupational OutlookHandbook

outlook
Outlook
  • Large and growing workforce segment
  • Important contributors to health and heath care and service continuum
  • High rates of turnover/vacancy (retirement, leaving occupational group)
  • Poor visibility and recognition
  • Low wages and access to benefits
  • Limited training and supervision
  • Obstacles to promotion and cross-over to other roles
spotlight on substance abuse behavior disorder counselors
Spotlight on: Substance Abuse/ Behavior Disorder Counselors

NOTE: “All Health and Health Care Occupations” is an aggregate of the BLS employment categories:

Community and Social Services Occupations, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, and

Healthcare Support Occupations.

future shifts and trends
Future shifts and trends
  • Impact of aging population
  • Increasingly diverse workforce and general population will require greater cultural competencies
  • Emerging technologies will require expanded skill set
summary
Summary
  • High projected job growth and significant turnover issues
  • Cultural competency increasingly important for patient care and employment settings
  • Many workers facing low wages and limited access to benefits
  • Need for increased job training opportunities
    • Entry routes
    • Certification opportunities
    • Career ladders and professional development
  • Need for employer education to effectively supervise and support frontline workers
slide20

Presented at:

“Investing in Healthcare’s Human Capital.”

Health Professions Network Meeting: March 16-19, 2006

Atlanta, GA

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Schindel PhD

Health Workforce Solutions LLC

jenns@healthws.com

415-387-4301

www.healthws.com