The future of Nursing and our healthcare system

  1. Hello,

    I am trying to ask others out there in the Nursing profession a burning question. I am trying to research the issue, but cannot seem to find information to answer my question.

    We hear of and know of the current nursing shortage. (Or as I have read on this site, is there a true shortage?) It seems that employment security is strong with this profession, especially doing the bedside work. I personally have a great desire to bring a lot of committment and devotion to nursing and I have been very fortunate to be able to get accepted into nursing schools in the past (I couldn't attend though due to personal obligations and I wish to consider my options now very carefully).

    The question I have involves our healthcare system. As we have learned recently, nearly half of bankruptcies are because of medical bills. 45 million people in this country lack health insurance and the number continues to increase. I as a patient have experienced first hand what it feels like to be uninsured--I have been bankrupt and I don't get the care I need. Which leads me to my question...

    Isn't it logical that with more and more people unable to afford healthcare, and many hospitals having to close units or close down entirely that there could be potential layoffs of nurses if it's not already happening? Has anyone seen this first hand?

    I have much enthusiasm I would like to bring to the nursing profession, but I am not sure if I can stand the heartaches of our healthcare system.

    Responses are greatly appreciated! Thank You!
    Last edit by EnduringFaith on Feb 8, '05
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    About EnduringFaith

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 18; Likes: 16

    5 Comments

  3. by   DelightRN
    Quote from EnduringFaith
    Isn't it logical that with more and more people unable to afford healthcare, and many hospitals having to close units or close down entirely that there could be potential layoffs of nurses if it's not already happening? Has anyone seen this first hand?
    It has not been my experience that those people who cannot afford healthcare do not have access to it. I have worked for several facilities that provided excellent care to the indigent populations (one catholic facility in particular had a significant charity care program). There are multiple governmental programs available to help in healthcare access. Its not a great system, and it certainly could be reworked to improve access to everyone (i.e. the working poor generally are worse off than the truly indigent), but there are options available.

    Even where I work, which is not an acute care facility, offers free rehab services for disabled kids.

    I have seen hospitals close (in DC, especially), but in most cases that's a question of funding and business practices... not that they didn't have patients to treat.
  4. by   payday
    After reading the Futile Care for the Dead thread, I realized that our healthcare is next to none just fabulous, and we use a tremendous amount often in futile care. It's no wonder health insurance costs so much.

    Our emphasis on health should be prevention and wellness and having the elderly die with dignity.
  5. by   EnduringFaith
    Quote from DelightRN
    It has not been my experience that those people who cannot afford healthcare do not have access to it. I have worked for several facilities that provided excellent care to the indigent populations (one catholic facility in particular had a significant charity care program). There are multiple governmental programs available to help in healthcare access. Its not a great system, and it certainly could be reworked to improve access to everyone (i.e. the working poor generally are worse off than the truly indigent), but there are options available.

    Even where I work, which is not an acute care facility, offers free rehab services for disabled kids.

    I have seen hospitals close (in DC, especially), but in most cases that's a question of funding and business practices... not that they didn't have patients to treat.

    Hi Delight,

    Thank you for your response and insight into the issue. I have been especially curious as I am also part of the working poor. Access to care has been a nightmare for me. For example, I can't get access to dental care where I am. No insurance and the health dept says they cannot help me. (I have found out recently about other people complaining about the dept.)

    I am glad to hear that help is out there for the indigent. Around here where I live, the best you can usually do is get passed around the system.

    Thanks again,
    Enduringfaith
  6. by   DelightRN
    You're welcome. I'm sorry to hear that you have been denied access to healthcare. Do you not have health benefits through your employer?
  7. by   EnduringFaith
    Quote from DelightRN
    You're welcome. I'm sorry to hear that you have been denied access to healthcare. Do you not have health benefits through your employer?

    Hello again,

    No, I don't have benefits through my employer. I don't work enough hours, and the employer doesn't usually provide enough hours to even get and keep benefits.

    I am not yet in nursing, but in another area of work. I believe I am like many subjected to corporate greed.

    Regarding the indigent, it's becoming ever more apparent to me that a person may be, for lack of a better description, able to access care if they live wealthy or wipe themselves out to indigency. In the middle? Forget it.

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