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Major Determinants Of The Size And Nature Of The Health Care Employment Sector

607 words - 2 pages

Without attempting to include all of the interrelated factors that influence demand for various types of health personnel, it is important to recognize some major determinants of the size and nature of the health care employment sector (Sultz & Young, 2009). One of these determinants that cannot be overlooked is the projected decline in a physician population that has already been identified as inadequate in many areas to meet the needs of our society. Alternative providers such as specialized nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants will need to be embraced and expanded as physician extenders to support the growing health care needs. The aging of the population and advances in the treatment of acute and chronic life-threatening conditions will result in increasing survival of people with chronic illnesses and disabilities (Sultz & Young, 2009). Preparing these professionals to practice more independently in this type of environment along with the declining physician support will need to be a focus of their academic programs. Continued oversight of these practitioners’ skills and abilities should be the responsibility of their specific certifying organization. Given the fact that physician extenders will increase in the future there is an opening to more clearly define their scope of practice. To do this will in turn more clearly define the utilization of these professionals in safe effective manner. As part of their role in the clinical setting, physician assistants: take patient histories and perform clinical exams, diagnose illnesses and develop treatment plans, order lab tests and prescribe medicines, counsel and educate patients, in surgical settings, suture wounds and assist in surgery (Yale School of Medicine, 2010). The scope of practice for these individuals varies greatly depending on the practice setting and responsibilities delegated...

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