Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Health Care Workforce Needs Hispanic Professionals

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Health Care Workforce Needs Hispanic Professionals

Article excerpt

One of the results of having a burgeoning Hispanic population is the need, for qualified Hispanic ν health care workers to address their medical needs. It's not only a matter of being able to communicate with patients in Spanish, it is also a matter of being intimately acquainted with Hispanic culture that makes Hispanic health Ciire workers so essential for the health and welfare of our changing demographics. And unless the number of Hispanics entering health fields increases, the U.S. faces a healthcare shortage within the next decade.

Any new attempt to add health care jobs lias been hampered by the Great Recession of 2009- Industries that lost jobs for Hispanics during that period included hospitals and other health services workers (88,000). In addition to a general shortage of Hispanic health care workers, there is the added problem that of where health care workers are based, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. For instance, again according to Pew, there are 93 primary care physicians per 100,000 people in cities or sub- urban metropolitan areas, compared with 55 primary care physicians per people in nonmetropolitan or rural areas, and a wider variation of specialists, at 200 per 100,000 in metropolitan areas and 33 in nonmetropolitan areas.

The good news for Hispanics is that they are gaining back tliose jobs quicker than African-Americans and Whites. From the fourth quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2011, the Hispanic working-age population increased 6 percent, and employment increased 6.5 percent. Hispanics and Asian- Americans are also the only groups to realize more employment gains than the number of jobs lost in the recession. Hispanics lost 473,000 jobs in the months of the greatest impact of the Great Recession but were able to claw back 1.3 million jobs as the country went through a slow recovery; Asian-Americans lost 193,000 jobs during that same time and have gained 455,000 jobs since then. Whites gained back one million jobs during the recovery, and African-Americans showed a gain of 318,000 jobs. But for Whites and African-Americans, job losses were six million and i.l million, respectively.

And in implications for immigration reform, workers not born in this country are becoming employed during this recovery quicker than those who arc born in this country. That fact could account for the pushback, politically, pending immigration legislation has experienced - fairly or unfairly. The news for women is also not encouraging. …

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