Nursing is, along with Medicine and other health care professionals, a major part of the backbone of the healthcare system. A noble profession with roots in the image of Florence Nightingale. The profession, in modern times, has grown into huge numbers as its public image has remained high. And why not? These professionals have helped deliver your children, assisted in the Operating Room, managed the Operating Room, cared for your dying mother, and have dealt with many patients who are not always the sweetest customers in the world!
Embarrassed and shocked by the large numbers of deaths in certain long term care facilities largely in 4 provinces, the Federal government is now calling for Long-Term Care Reform or the creation of National Standards for Long-Term Care.
A bit late, don’t you think? For a half century, public policy experts have been observing the growing population of aging baby boomers and forecasting that the health and long-term care system would be distressed at unprecedented levels. But in much of that 50 years, while health care has seen a boom in expensive new services, much of the approach to caring for that small segment of the senior population deemed to be frail or compromised by multiple chronic diseases seems to have progressed little. We do have an unprecedented number of long-term care facilities, many superb, that have grown more by accident than by design. Long-term care has morphed into a significant industry in the absence of consistent regulation.
Ken McGeorge, BS,DHA,CHE is a career health care executive based in Fredericton, NB, Canada.