One of the fastest-growing jobs these days – is facing a huge worker shortage.
There’s a massive shortage of healthcare aides – workers who take care of the elderly and disabled – at home, or in nursing homes.
The number of jobs shot up 120-percent in the last year, and it’s no wonder. Every day, 10-thousand Baby Boomers reach retirement age. Also, a large number of healthcare aides are heading toward retirement themselves, with one in five already older than 55. Which is why experts estimate we’ll need more than 2 million additional healthcare aides by the end of this decade.
But even though the need for healthcare aides has more than doubled – the number of new recruits is steadily dropping. That’s because it’s not an easy job. The risk of injury – mostly back injuries and muscle strains - is higher for healthcare aides than for construction workers. That’s because they often have to lift patients, change their undergarments, and feed them. Aides are also commonly spit on, bitten and kicked by patients with dementia. It’s also mentally taxing, because they work so closely with patients, often spending more time with them than the patient’s family.
That’s why they’re being called the “backbone” of the healthcare industry.
And despite the drawbacks, it can be a rewarding job. You get to spend time with amazing people with rich life histories. And you can make a huge difference in the quality of people’s lives.
The good news is: Becoming an aide is fairly easy. You don’t need a college degree. And in some places, you don’t even need a high school diploma. Plus, the minimum required training is only 75 hours – though some states require about double that. If you’re interested in becoming a healthcare aide in private homes or nursing homes, Google “Nursing Aide Training” in your area. There’s an overwhelming demand.