Why is there a shortage of nurses?
Basically - people don't like being abused.
I've known a few nurses. I'm in love with one.
I was shocked at their work conditions - stuff like 12 hour shifts.
They didn't mind. They were dedicated to the idea of caring for patients.
But as the cost of living rose, their income didn't. They were falling behind.
One day a friend who was a nurse had her pay cut by 10% buy a hospital that was more concerned with obeying a tax cutting governor than giving a fair deal to nurses
That was discouraging enough for her but imagine how people wanting to be trained for nurses would think.
Is this a good field?
And nursing schools are hard to get into.
Budget restrictions meant that their were only so many seats even available for nurse trainees. Now many hospitals are shutting down or restricting services because there are not enough nurses.
We see the outcome now. There aren't enough nurses.
It's not a problem you can solve now by throwing money at it.
It takes years to build the training infrastructure and then years to train the nurses.
It takes years to train new nurses.
And years more to train nurses who can operate ICU's.
So nobody can just wave their hand and fix a shortage of nurses.
This is what government austerity has gotten us - The right wing idea was to reduce government so it was so small it could be drowned in a bathtub.
Hence no money to train the nurses that the future will need.
I've been in hospitals and they aren't fancy but they don't cut corners on medical equipment or supplies.
Those costs are pretty fixed.
Wages are the soft spot in the economy that are always squeezed. I'm told that the nursing managers get bonuses when they understaff and bring their unit in under budget.
The market isn't working very well here.
The problem of nursing shortages has been coming on for a long time.
That should be driving big improvements in wages and working conditions without a huge struggle.
Here in BC nurses are preparing to go on strike because a skinflint government won't pay a decent wage.
We all know that free markets really aren't free. Those who are richer always have an advantage. This is especially true in the labor market. The people doing the actual work have the least power. Bosses think people should be grateful to them for giving them a job. And then a pandemic hits.
What do you think?