Health Workforce: Ensuring Adequate Supply and Distribution Remains Challenging

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses (1) the shortage of healthcare workers and (2) the lessons learned by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in addressing these shortages. GAO found that problems in recruiting and retaining health care professionals could worsen as demand for these workers increases. High levels of job dissatisfaction among nurses and nurses aides may also play a crucial role in current and future nursing shortages. Efforts to improve the workplace environment may both reduce the likelihood of nurses and nurse aides leaving the field and encourage more ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. August 1, 2001.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses (1) the shortage of healthcare workers and (2) the lessons learned by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in addressing these shortages. GAO found that problems in recruiting and retaining health care professionals could worsen as demand for these workers increases. High levels of job dissatisfaction among nurses and nurses aides may also play a crucial role in current and future nursing shortages. Efforts to improve the workplace environment may both reduce the likelihood of nurses and nurse aides leaving the field and encourage more young people to enter the nursing profession. Nonetheless, demographic forces will continue to widen the gap between the number of people needing care and the nursing staff available. As a result, the nation will face a caregiver shortage very different from shortages of the past. More detailed data are needed, however, to delineate the extent and nature of nurse and nurse aide shortages to assist in planning and targeting corrective efforts. Better coordination of NHSC placements, with waivers for foreign U.S.-educated physicians, could help more needy areas. In addition, addressing shortfalls in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) systems for identifying underservice is long overdue. HHS needs to gather more consistent and reliable information on the changing needs for services in underserved communities. Until then, it will remain difficult to determine whether federal resources are appropriately targeted to communities of greatest need and to measure their impact."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • August 1, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Health Workforce: Ensuring Adequate Supply and Distribution Remains Challenging, text, August 1, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290247/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.