Sunday, February 01, 2009

Well, here we are with another post from the hinterlands of travel nursing. In my last post I talked about taking a gig in Washington DC. Since then, my main travel vehicle has morphed. It grew up to be a Jeep. The economy has tanked and I took another travel assignment with U.S. Army. This time I have traveled to San Antonio Texas. I have been here since October 2008 and I am impressed. San Antonio is a friendly town and the Riverwalk is an incredible place to visit. I even took a horse drawn carriage ride.

The economy is having an impact even on travel nursing. Reports are that even though there is a nursing shortage many hospitals faced with tough choices are cutting back on nursing or just not filling the slots. This only increases the pressure to create less skilled categories of workers. Med Tech, Nurse Tech (for nursing students who have not quite graduated) and other categories of healthcare workers are being talked up. The danger to the public is they may be fooled into believing that having less skilled technicians at their bedside is as good as having a skilled registered nurse at the bedside.

There is a role for the CNA, LVN or a licensed Medical Technician in healthcare. What they are not is a replacement for the registered nurse. Too many administrators and other healthcare decision makers when faced with budget woes and nursing shortages are going to be very tempted to make that choice.

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