Industry News

February 15

Healthcare Continues to Create Jobs

Unemployment for February, 2010 remained at 9.7% indicating that the worst may be over for the economy and joblessness. Healthcare continued to be the bright spot creating 20,400 new jobs in February. Another good February sign: temporary employment continued to grow with 48,000 jobs created in all sectors including 10,000 temporary jobs created for the census. With the exception of the once in a decade creation of census jobs, temporary jobs indicate employers are "testing the waters" before hiring individuals full time. A total of 284,000 temporary jobs have been created since September, 2009. Adult men continue to have higher unemployment (10.0%) as opposed to adult woman (8.0%). March unemployment figures will be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 2, 1010.

Healthcare Job Growth Not Always in Acute Care?

Large healthcare delivery systems continue to turn away recent RN graduates by the hundreds. "We have hired as many as we can" commented a Senior Nurse Recruiter of a large Midwestern teaching and research facility. "Everyone told them there would always be a job in nursing but they didn't exactly tell them where those jobs might be," she continued. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009, 168,000 new RN positions were created but the bulk of those jobs were not created in the acute care setting. Growth in healthcare jobs has centered primarily on long-term, physician offices and urgent care settings. Home care has also seen job creation.

First Amendment Not Grounds For Internal Communication

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment against a public hospital nurse/transplant coordinator's claim that the hospital discharged her in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights.

Lisa Rohrbough, a transplant coordinator in the University of Colorado Hospital Authority's Heart Transplant Unit, communicated concerns over patient safety and staffing concerns internally and through internal occurrence reports, and in communicating her concerns about a possible heart transplant misallocation internally and to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), established by Congress to administer organ transplants. The court held under Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), that the plaintiff's communications were not protected by the First Amendment because they were part of her official duties as a hospital employee.

The court explained that Rohrbough made known staffing concerns only to hospital employees, and the incident reports documented incidents of substandard care that she was expected to include regarding transplant procedures.

She also did not claim in her complaint that she had contacted media or other outsiders besides UNOS. Moreover, talking to UNOS was part of her job. Finally, the court held that even if her speech were protected, it would not matter because the decision-making supervisor who knew of her poor performance did not know about any of her complaints.


Biometric Identity Card Gaining Ground

Interest is growing in Washington for requiring a biometric identity card for everyone who is authorized to work in the United States.

Two senators at the center of the immigration reform effort have voiced their support for the biometric card and say it should be an essential part of the Senate's reform proposal.

Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., met with President Barack Obama on March 11, 2010, to discuss the progress of the Senate's immigration reform efforts. The senators, who are working to draft a bipartisan reform bill, gave the president a three-page outline on what the legislation would include.

In addition, the president met recently with several representatives from immigration groups to discuss the reform efforts on Capitol Hill. Several of the groups have criticized the White House for moving too slowly on immigration reform. The groups are pushing for creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who live and work in the United States. Also, they are seeking new work visa programs that would make it easier for immigrants to gain authorization to work in the U.S.


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