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Confronting the Threat of an Aging Health Care Workforce

Confronting the Threat of an Aging Health Care Workforce Section I: Context CHAPTER 1 Confronting the Threat of an Aging Health Care Workforce David W. DeLong You would have to have been living on the moon the last few years not to know that baby boomers are fast approaching retirement age. This phe- nomenon has gotten plenty of media attention, because the post–World War II generation now ranges in age from 41 to 59 years and is almost twice as big as the generation behind it, popularly known as Generation X. But in health care, a field already plagued by talent shortages in many areas, this looming wave of retirements presents special problems that are still not well understood. Medical professionals and administrators gain tremendous experiential knowledge, only some of which is formally documented and shared, as they work in the rapidly evolving health care field. Inevitably today, doctors, hos- pital administrators, medical school professors, highly skilled technicians, and nurses are leaving their organizations without passing on enough of this valuable expertise. And often, the only way their successors discover that they are missing key insights of their predecessors is through mistakes, un- expected quality problems, or other costly disruptions in performance and patient care. These knowledge gaps http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

Confronting the Threat of an Aging Health Care Workforce

Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics , Volume 25 (1): 4 – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.25.1.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Section I: Context CHAPTER 1 Confronting the Threat of an Aging Health Care Workforce David W. DeLong You would have to have been living on the moon the last few years not to know that baby boomers are fast approaching retirement age. This phe- nomenon has gotten plenty of media attention, because the post–World War II generation now ranges in age from 41 to 59 years and is almost twice as big as the generation behind it, popularly known as Generation X. But in health care, a field already plagued by talent shortages in many areas, this looming wave of retirements presents special problems that are still not well understood. Medical professionals and administrators gain tremendous experiential knowledge, only some of which is formally documented and shared, as they work in the rapidly evolving health care field. Inevitably today, doctors, hos- pital administrators, medical school professors, highly skilled technicians, and nurses are leaving their organizations without passing on enough of this valuable expertise. And often, the only way their successors discover that they are missing key insights of their predecessors is through mistakes, un- expected quality problems, or other costly disruptions in performance and patient care. These knowledge gaps

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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