Filling open nursing positions is no easy task for hospital administrators these days, and there's every chance the job will get tougher.
This country has a serious nursing shortage: The American Health Care Assn.'s most recent estimates from July 2008 show 116,000 open hospital nursing positions and more than 19,000 vacancies in long-term care settings.
Thanks to this defibrillator of a recession, healthcare's future has a beat. Not long ago, the sector seemed statistically doomed: Baby boomers were about to hit medical care providers with a double whammy--retiring from their jobs as nurses and doctors and aging their way into hospitals and clinics in waves as patients. The recession seems to have caused something of a reprieve, as older workers delay retirement, healthcare demand slows, and unemployed workers consider new careers in the promising field.
An effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr. was hung outside his office on the eastern shore of Maryland. Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin was shouted down by angry constituents. Rep. Timothy H. Bishop of New York had such a raucous experience with critics on Long Island that he avoids town hall meetings for more manageable settings.
Somewhere, Jane Austen is aghast. Queen Victoria is about to blow a gasket. And your sweet little great-grandmother, the one apt to blush when the word "corset" came up in mixed company, is positively apoplectic.
These doyens of daintiness and decorum would doubtless be shocked, shamed and horrified by the female protagonists who have taken pop culture by storm: Feisty, reckless, rootless women increasingly dominate television, novels, film and music.
Listeners of Chicago's radio station "Power 92" were flooding the phone lines with questions for Rachael Ross, a young doctor from Hyde Park who aims to transform sexual attitudes and behaviors as the hip-hop generation's Dr. Ruth.
One caller was not satisfied with his sexual performance, another was concerned about an abnormal Pap smear, while a third voiced a complaint about difficulty becoming aroused -- to which Ross advised erotic books, movies and self-stimulation, explaining reassuringly that "you can train your body."
In This Issue
Liz Di Bernardo