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Options for Older Workers in Healthcare

Options for Older Workers in Healthcare

Dan Woog | Monster Contributing Writer

Other healthcare companies reach out to nurses in different ways. Bon Secours Richmond (Virginia) Health System provides benefits for as few as 16 hours per week, while Freeport Health Network in Illinois offers pet insurance starting on day one.

Many Options for Career Changers

Career changers interested in healthcare, yet unable to spend the time and money necessary for a nursing degree, should consider a shorter, less arduous certification program in areas like radiological imaging, ultrasound or physical therapy.

Some healthcare workers never see the inside of a hospital or office. Transcriptionists (who take medical dictation) and coders (who translate patient records into insurance bills) often work at home. A two-year degree in RHIT (registered health information technology) leads to opportunities in these and other information-type fields.

Career expert Beverly Kaye points out the opportunities available to men and women with diverse backgrounds — none of which require medical certification. “Someone with a business background can go into accounting, billings or collections,” she says. “If you’ve worked with people, you can go into management, patient services or admissions. If you have any kind of life experience, there’s a position in healthcare for you.”

Costs for training and certification need not be an issue. According to Kaye, many hospitals are so desperate for qualified workers that they provide scholarships in areas such as pharmacology, coding and radiology.

The healthcare industry prizes older workers for more than their availability and flexibility, Kaye notes. Hospitals, in particular, prize loyalty. “They need people committed to their work, not people who are climbing the job ladder,” Kaye says. “And older people in healthcare generally want to make a contribution and help others. Their wisdom pays off.”

Read the original article Options for Older Workers in Healthcare on Monster.com.


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    leannie03

    over 1 year ago

    2 comments

    I don't understand! I was a very hard working conscientious RN for 40 years. I was a diploma graduate. I had started at the very same hospital as a candy stripper. Later became a CNA. Received 2 hospital scholarships to go to Nursing School. I took a year of pre-nursing at a different college hoping then to transfer to a 4 year degree program. I found out I was not college material. I made the choice to go to a 3 year diploma school. It gave me more hands on learning, That was what I needed and I did very well. I was very good at my job. I worked at that same hospital for many years. Always had very good evaluations and peer reviews. In 2009 I went to work, was called into the office and met by the ANM the Charge Nurse and the Hospital Liason.. They proceeded to tell me that I had 10 days to "straighten-up my act or I would be let go". I had no idea I had made any errors. No mistakes had ever been brought to my attention. They did not talk about placing me on a work plan. Nor did they have anything for me to sign. I was so humiliated. I cried all the way home. When I got home I picked up the phone and I called the ANM and told her I wasn't coming back. I was the oldest nurse and the highest paid RN on that shift. The hospital was having to lay off staff due to budget issues. People were fearful of losing their jobs. The hospital had just gotten their Magnate Status. They had just built a brand new complex acrossed the street. There was a lot of "game playing amongst the staff. Nurses were taking sides. Management was leaking confidential information to non man-management personnel. Nurse that were put in charge of circulating educational material were intentionally leaving out some of the nurses making them look ignorant. There was a lot of gossip, bullying and betrayal. I rarely sat down except to chart. rarely took a break. My patients always came first. My younger co-workers however always seem to have plenty of time to sit, socialize and play on the computer, I told my Nurse Manager one time about how bad the patients rooms were when I came on duty and the off going staff were sitting at the nurses station. The nurse manager said to me " Well, you know these girls were never taught to clean their rooms or pick up after them selves? I couldn't believe her response. Those rooms were a safety issue. They may have a piece of paper that says BS behind their name but that doesn't make them a nurse. These nurses do as little as possible to get by. The documentation is not being done like its suppose to be either. The nurses are making their "x's" in the boxes stating they did these tasks every 2 hrs or so but I know they are not getting done. The nurse patient ratio is too heavy. Some patients are more time consuming then others. They don't staff enough CNA per unit. Patients are not getting offered enough assistance with ADL's, mobilization and assistance with meals like they should. Every day that I worked at the end of my shift I made sure that my patients rooms were clean. Everything they need was with in reach. They had fresh water. Had been toileted. Medicated for pain or nausea if needed. Equipment was working properly. I worked right up to the minute I had to stop and give report. Compassion, that's lacking big time.
    The older nurse's need to be brought back into the work force. Be given the proper training they need, if any. And get the show on the road. You don't need books to make you have compassion. God put people on this earth to do certain things no one has the right to tell them they are not smart enough to do it. Here I am. Been working in the medical field for around 45 years. Put my entire heart and soul into it. Now I can't find a job. Have no insurance and my prescriptions cost $1400.00/mo. When I apply for a position. I never get an interview. I get an e-mail that says even though my qualifications were impressive, they have went with another applicant. So much for all the missed coffee breaks, lunch breaks, holidays with my children vacations. If I had known they were going to screw me I shouldn't have been so loyal to them..

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    vlwebbrn

    almost 2 years ago

    2 comments

    I have no health issues, a 56 yr old Associates degree nurse for 31 yrs and cannot get a job for almost a year. If I do get an interview they aren't interested. I believe my experience doesn't count for anything. A Bachelors degree younger nurse out of school gives them higher ratings on scores and cheaper to higher. Call me disappointed that we don't care for ourselves like we do our patients.

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    eldrnurs

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    This is a joke. I have been a nurse with more than 35 years experience in level 1 trauma centers. I just graduated with my BSN. Because of health issues that make it impossible for me to walk without an assistive device I can't get a job, period!!! I am aware of new grads, over 50 that can't even get interviews with hospitals. They don't even get calls. Don't waste your money the profession is not elder friendly. It certainly is not the profession I entered in 1975.

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    antepen

    over 2 years ago

    6 comments

    (Last one.) If anyone has a few hours to kill, then look up the grant bills that have been passed recently to retrain people to meet the technological needs of today's economy, including healthcare. I was so disappointed to see how much of the grant is needed just to implement and monitor it. In a nutshell it is a large and complex undertaking for an educational facility. After reading a short novel of information and requirements the last page basically says, you the student don't stand a chance of accessing the grants unless you are a ethnic minority. I say give the grants directly to the students who want to retrain for today's technology. As always if they don't meet the minimum academic requirements they will have to pay the grant back. A great example is the older nurse who has the Health background and who wants to do Case Management or Medical Coding, these require a accredited degree in that field and experience. Employers do everyone a huge favor and offer some on the job training for these people who have obtained the needed degrees and certificates. You could also offer to pay for the necessary education in return for a commitment of employment. Many nurses are facing limited tuition reimbursement from employers, offered only for advancement in their field of nursing and a commitment of employment. This does not help the older nurse who wants to be retrained for a less demanding and/or more flexible job. I could list a dozen reasons that make it difficult for a person to retrain while working in a full-time position. I will only say two, single parent households and that nursing can be an exhausting job when you are giving it 100%, especially in the acute care setting. You hear how flexible nursing is, but in truth the majority of the nursing jobs are hard and the hours are not family friendly. Some schools are graduating students who do not have much demanded of them from their instructors, much less with each decade. Passing a state exam does not make you a nurse. Two more years of textbooks and paperwork does not make you a better nurse.Experience and accountability makes you a better nurse. If the government wants to improve healthcare then require more education for areas of special care and let the acute care areas give the new graduate nurses the experience they need. Just place yourself or a "truly" loved one in a medical emergency or acute situation and see which nurse you choose, experienced or the one with more letters after their name. I always said it is exceptional to have a surgeon who is skilled and who has a great bed side manner. Many times you cannot have both and I will always choose the skilled surgeon over Mr. Personality. Studies show we sue the friendly doctor less. It should be we sue only the blatantly inept. I have had people say that I am not their favorite person to work with, because I believe in the medical field we have to try for "perfect". I know we are human and mistakes will happen, but how much worse will it be as more nurses aim for the minimum of care. It is scary to me that now a nursing education is being sought after by many for its monetary security in this uncertain economy. The healthcare field is the one field where the minimum should never be accepted as the normal work ethic. We had a conversation the other day about if you are in the hospital for more than the usual few days, many nurses have no idea that you need to have a bath. Really! The next time you or a loved one has a urinary foley placed write down how often you had catheter care done. You know where they clean around where it enters the body. This can be valuable information for you and your lawyer if an infection occurs. It just may be that the hardest working employee is not well represented by their educational advances or evaluations, but by the person that was given the best nursing care. The patient or client should evaluate their nurse before discharge or leaving. There is a bias by managers, supervisors and coworkers. More times than not it is the nurse who spends their time with the the supervisor and manager, on non-work related social interactions, who gets a better evaluation. The nurse who has a good work ethic is working and not playing the game and they actually come across worse on paper, but are the superior nurse. The best source of accurate feedback and information is the person who received the care.

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    antepen

    over 2 years ago

    6 comments

    Most employers must feel the job market in nursing is so saturated that they do not even show respect by following up with a Thank you, unless it is an automatically generated with an on-line job application. You hear about the huge shortage of nurses and have to wonder if it is really just hype to help fill school enrollment quotas and an excuse work with staffing shortages and save money. Universal healthcare models like the one in Denmark would be a step towards safer healthcare, that is not driven by profit only goals.

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    antepen

    over 2 years ago

    6 comments

    The nursing shortages are in the acute care, fast-paced and ten to twelve hour shift jobs. In addition, we are in large a for-profit and not a universal healthcare country which means hiring new graduates and not filling open advertised jobs both mean more profits. There are exceptions, but it is usually about saving money first. The same facilities that advertise high pay traveling RN positions at 13 weeks each also refuse to train local nurses. When you scroll the open jobs the only ones who say we will train (sometimes no paid training) are virtual call centers and commission-based sales. If your credit is not good you can forget them too. I am not sure when losing a home to an adjustable rate mortgage made you a criminal, but it has. There are so many honest and hard-working people looking for work in this country, " Companies stop outsourcing and invest in the USA and its people." There is a difference between Safe Profits and Greed!

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    JeanCoble

    about 3 years ago

    4 comments

    Interesting article. It’s good to know that healthcare is brimming with jobs for older professionals, who, for financial or other reasons, want to continue working well into their sunset years. In that regard, medical billing and coding as well as medical transcription are excellent options. Not just because the work is such that it can be handled by seniors, but also because these professions allow them to work from home. All they need is a little investment of time and money in online career courses that train them in these fields, especially if their prior experience is not related to these jobs.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JeanCoble

    about 3 years ago

    4 comments

    Interesting article. It’s good to know that healthcare is brimming with jobs for older professionals, who, for financial or other reasons, want to continue working well into their sunset years. In that regard, medical billing and coding as well as medical transcription are excellent options. Not just because the work is such that it can be handled by seniors, but also because these professions allow them to work from home. All they need is a little investment of time and money in online career courses that train them in these fields, especially if their prior experience is not related to these jobs.

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    katernc

    almost 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I'm 51 and have been an RN since 1982. Since 1985, I have almost exclusively worked in L&D. I also have Stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer, and have undergone 3 cycles of chemotherapy & 1 of radiation since 2005. I work in a small military facility, and they have been absolutely wonderful to me, helping me on getting my hours in, etc. I had submitted transfer paperwork in April, and last month I received a job offer to go to a clinic. Now I work M-F, 8's, and not a lot of direct patient care. I wish that all of us who have put in the years in our field and now face age, age-ism, and family/ health stressors could be as lucky. I wouldn't have been able to afford further education OR a move to another state with the medical bills I face (even with good benefits!).

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    csp2359

    almost 5 years ago

    14 comments

    ALrighty then...you seasoned nurses are making me nervous...I am in college working towards my RN BSN So I have approx. 40 months in front of me and I am curently 56 yrs. It was my intention to work, hopefully upon gradution and licensure, for an unetermined length of time and move into teaching - Every report I read states medical profession and education are the two top fields in demand. The universities are encouraging students to further their training for future teaching positions. In fact, area doctors have shared that this is where the real problem exists - Good instructors... In a nutshell, I am torn about my next step - I so want to become an excellent Nurse and my age concerns me, although everyone I speak to gives me information to the contrary. Since a number of you are seasoned and are experiencing apparent age related issues in this profession, some in areas that have statistically higher postion openings I am very nervous now!

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    patyg

    almost 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I agree with Slamond who commented 7 months ago. I have worked for 37 years and was "let go". I lost an enormous amount of weight and could not do the 10-12 hr 3-5 days per week I was doing. I loved my job, I would love to work from home with data entry or work 4 days a week, 4 hour days but I've not seen them in our area or they want more qualifications. I've worked full time for 40 years, not working is slowly disabling me.

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    suzan5406

    almost 5 years ago

    6 comments

    Why should the older adult have to cut their hours? I had to reduce a heavy workload of icu nursing and was very fortunate to find a position with full time hours, benefits and less arduous work environment. But those opportunities are rare. In my experience hospitals are unwilling to allow movement from one area to another especially if it is in a direct care area. attempted many times to move to other less demanding areas including case management, outpatient surgery etc. Many hospitals will tell you they want someone with experience and are not willing to train .

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    slamond

    over 5 years ago

    34 comments

    This article seems like "Sc-Fi" to me!! I am a seasoned RN/BSN, Board-certified in Community/Public Health Nursing, with 40 years of clinical, administrative, supervisory and educational expertise within the Community and Allied Health Education areas. However, now that I'm 60, and have Fibromyalgia, I am no longer wanted in the work field. I have been seeking a four to five hour per day, 3-4 days per week position for a year now, with no tangible results!! I live in RI, on the border of MA, and NO ONE wants to think out-of-the-box for flexible positions with flexible hours. I fee there is much age and disability discrimination happening in this area, but, of course, I can't prove that it is happening. My references are impeccable, and everyone tells me that my resume is "impressive", but I cannot secure regular part-time employment!! I would love to return to college for a Post-Bachelor's Certification in Nursing Education, but at $1,500 a course, who can afford to?? Is there anyone else who lives in MA or RI having these same difficulties in securing a job? If anyone is interested in my resume, please send an inquiry to blueseas251@cox.net

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    cofcmom05

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Are you kidding? 2 Grand? I spent nearly $3500 when all the books and fees etc were done and it was a joke! The refresher course did nothing to refresh you on the new euipment, technologies, etc but made us essentially retake test demonstrating everything and more we learned in nursing school! I have a Masters degree with a great deal on experience and I had a recruitor tell me same thing you all have been hearing - "You have no recent experience". We need someone that can hit the floor running" she told me with all of my experience, I was considered less than a new graduate!!!!! I have been a labor & delivery room RN, a Transplant coordinator, a dialysis RN, Director of Nursing for a Outpatient Facility, Hospice and Home Health and a large Community Hospital. I am 55y/o and I can run rings around a new graduate!!! I am appalled at how the older RN is being treated and disrespected. Wonder what the news media would do with this information?????

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    ALee23834

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Like most of the commentators, I have been in nursing for nearly 18 years, have been out of work for two years taking care of aging and dying parents. My predominant experience is in community and home health nursing, and no hospitals seem to consider that nursing. Not sure what they think it is, but I know my skill set is vastly improved over a new grad. Can't convince them of that, though. Maybe a rewarding career at Blockbuster Video?
    Older but not done yet RN

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