Vitals Volume 5

Essential data and information on healthcare workforce employment

Healthcare Hiring Continues to Improve

The overall trend in healthcare employment: Looking good. The healthcare industry has continued to add jobs—it added 24,500 jobs in October, after 22,600 in September. Overall healthcare employment, which had just surpassed the 14.8 million mark in September, reached nearly 14.83 million jobs in October, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hospital employment added 3,500 jobs in October, which was down from the 6,200 jobs in September, but still a positive gain.

  Nov Vitals Hiring Chart

Which States are a Haven for Physical Therapists? 

If physical therapists start flocking to Utah, don’t be surprised. For the second year in a row, PT in Motion, the magazine for members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), has ranked Utah as the best state in the nation in which to practice physical therapy. Colorado and Minnesota round out the top three. The APTA analyzed seven factors, including employment and employment projections for physical therapy, compensation and cost of living, and business and practice friendliness, when considering each state.

Medical Schools Report Record Number of Applicants and Enrollees

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently reported a record 49,480 applicants to medical schools, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous year. Of those, 36,697 were first-time applicants, which the AAMC calls a good indicator of continued interest in the medical profession.

Along with the number of applicants, the number of enrollees in U.S. medical schools has also hit an all-time high, the AAMC reported. The number of students enrolling in 2014 was 20,343, up from 20,055 in 2013 (which was also a record).

That’s good news, given the need for more physicians for the future. However, the AAMC warns that the surging enrollment won’t actually be able to produce more doctors unless adequate numbers of residency slots are funded and maintained for training them. The AAMC continues to urge Congress to lift the cap on residency-training program slots that was set by the Balanced Budget Act.

Nov Vitals Med School Enrollees

Could Resilience Training Reduce Burnout—and Turnover—Among Nurses?  

Turnover of nursing staff is costly, as any healthcare executive can attest. After a registered nurse quits her or his job, the cost to find, train and place a new nurse in that vacated position ranges from $22,000 to $64,000. Could resilience training for nurses reduce burnout—and thus reduce the likelihood of turnover and associated costs? A recent article in the American Journal of Critical Care purports that it could be very useful to teach coping mechanisms to help nurses handle the stress of their jobs. The study’s authors noted that critical care nurses experience anxiety, depression, even post-traumatic stress disorder, at increasingly higher rates, which paves the way to burnout. That in turns leads to an annual turnover rate of at least 25 percent and as high as 60 percent in some places. According to the article, nurses who underwent resilience training showed significant decreases in stress-related symptoms.