The palliative and palliative care workforce has shrunk in recent years due to staff retirements, Burnout and limited opportunities for specialized training. Designing a career path with opportunities for advancement can boost recruitment, improve retention, and reduce turnover.

“Currently, the skilled workforce is simply too small to meet the demand,” said Brynn Bowman, director of strategy, Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). “The relationship between supply and demand for palliative and end-of-life care teams is extremely limited in staff. We hear tons of reports from clinicians working 24 hours a day. We need and want to provide more training opportunities so that people enter these specialties because there is a labor shortage.

Heads of palliative care identified staff shortages as their major concern spend 2020 on a Hospice News survey in conjunction with Dallas-based tech company Homecare Homebase. Over 26% of 300 respondents predicted staffing to be their biggest challenge, outweighing concerns about increased competition in the hospice palliative care space and new payment models.

Shortages are expected to worsen over the Next 25 years, with research indicating that the supply of skilled palliative and palliative care workers will be outstripped by the demand of a growing aging patient population.

“The demand for palliative care specialists will exceed supply,” said Matthew Abbott, senior clinical product manager at Axxess, a Dallas-based home care and hospice technology company, and also a palliative care nurse. . “This is a major cause for concern as we examine burnout today – especially in light of the public health emergency. Exhausted and exhausted clinicians are at greater risk of making mistakes, having accidents while driving, and rushing into patient care to get to the next visit on time. This is a serious problem for any organization, but it takes on a whole new level of gravity when you talk about helping someone have a comfortable end of life.

Staff burnout is an important factor in turnover with limited career growth opportunities and lack of exposure to specialist training in terminally ill and end-of-life care, also contributing to a shrinking workforce. Medical, nursing and social work students receive little training in palliative care and palliative care during their degree course, with a 2018 study reflecting that most would not feel ready to provide family care in the later stages of life.

Expanding teacher training and expanding the scope of career development opportunities are strategies used to strengthen hospice recruitment, as well as retention. Several organizations have developed closer mentoring in their intake training programs, with new staff receiving more hands-on learning under experienced supervision to better equip them to meet the diverse unique and complex care needs of terminally ill patients. and dying.

Stakeholders and advocates for palliative and palliative care spaces have worked with policy makers to eliminate barriers prevent workforce growth, with increased education and training opportunities leading the charge towards improvement and support.

“You can educate any clinician and specialist in basic hospice and palliative care skills, such as how to better communicate with patients about their goals of care,” Bowman said. “The labor shortage is the motivating factor PCHETA, the Palliative Care Education and Training Act, which would open up new avenues for training more clinicians from all disciplines to obtain training in palliative care and palliative care and become certified specialists, including doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains. Investing in education has the dual benefit of reserving this specialized care team for patients with the most complex needs and who really need this kind of support.

Providing improved compensation, career growth opportunities, and perks such as repayments for education and training or potential student debt repayment assistance could ensure greater potential for longevity and a growing workforce. better health in the areas of palliative and palliative care. The price to pay for increased career advancement and specialized training opportunities can result in significant financial constraints.

Making room in the budget and absorbing those costs is a struggle for many vendors, especially in an economical downtown area caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Cost-cutting strategies to avoid damage from the headwinds of COVID-19 include increased use of technology, according to Abbott, with the potential for long-term financial gain.

“Full visibility into your operations is necessary to see where there is potential savings,” Abbott told Hospice News. “Without a system that shows you data, hospices won’t know if they can afford to increase wages and benefits. We are in a digital world and you cannot have an analog mindset. I firmly believe that an investment in training and staff support will pay dividends across the board for any organization. “

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