Healthcare in 2012 and beyond has given all of us great challenges and opportunities to meet the needs of our population. Knowing that the fastest growing industry sector in the United States is healthcare at 2.3% per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics), we must continue to enhance our processes and outcomes. This growth can be further broken down into segments with home healthcare services forecasting a 3.9% yearly growth followed close behind by offices outside the traditional hospital setting at 3.0%, nursing and residential care at 1.9% and hospitals at a 1.1% yearly rate. Statistics from 2011 have shown us that 69% of the job growth in 2011 was in the ambulatory service area. According to Bloomberg News in February 2012, healthcare will add more than 5.6 million employees to be the biggest job gainer by 2020.

Captured 2-23-12 from: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf

For post acute care, this growth is very real. Although services are provided for residents and patients of all ages, the current and future needs of the aging population will continue to add to the growth. The increase of persons over 65 years of age has steadily climbed each decade and from 35 million in 2000 the number will double by 2030 to 72.1 million. (U.S.Census Bureau) This growth brings many opportunities for healthcare workers and clinicians to seek new professional goals in order to help meet the needs of this population.

The increased need for caregivers is well documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and some of the fastest growing healthcare occupations include home health aides (50% growth-2008/2018), personal and home care aides (46%), PT aides (36.3%), OT aides (30.7%) and PTs (30.3%). Occupations with the largest job growth during this same period include RNs, home health aides, LPN/LVNs, medical assistants and personal and home care aides.

Knowing the statistics that face our industry allows clinicians to have the facts that may add stability for the future, goals to consider for growth, personal attributes that will be needed to succeed and a positive direction for careers within healthcare. We work in an industry that will always be present, will always be in need and will continue to allow growth and opportunities-both personally and professionally.

Captured 2-23-12 from: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf