Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NURSES, COMPUTERS AND FUTURE JOBS

Slate’s Matt Yglesias is one of the internet’s best writers on economics.  His April 22, 2013 post explains why nursing should experience increasing demand in the near and long term, unlike many other “middle skilled” occupations.  His take-away:

An aging country is going to demand more health care services. A country that's politically committed to meeting the health care needs of the poor is going to demand more health care services. A wealthier society is going to demand more health care services.

His fellow Slate writer, Anna Reisman, who is also a physician, wrote an April 18 article in which she outlines the case for greater use of nurse practitioners and liberalized state licensing rules.  She cites an Institute of Medicine study that shows similar patient outcomes regardless of whether the patient is diagnosed by a Nurse Practitioner or Primary Care Physician. 

Yglesias takes it a step further.  He cites a recent study that concludes that computer models do a better job at predicting lung cancer patients’ treatment outcomes than doctors. 

Nurses are going to be more in demand.  They are going to need to be fully versed in technology and they are going to be even more responsible for patient outcomes.  Yglesias says it best: “with digital medical technology improving, there's going to be a broader and broader range of health care services that a well-trained nurse can provide without needing the many extra years of expensive medical education required to churn out a doctor.”

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