comparative assay of benefits and disadvantages of using unregulated healthcare workers

In arguing for either of these sides – retaining or abolishing UCPs use – two broad perspectives thus arise. The first of these regards to the use of UCPs to fill for shortages of health professionals whereas the second regards the use of UCPs to control costs. On the first aspect – shortage – it is evident that UCPs serve to better outcomes of care. In this aspect it is notable that addressing the nurse shortages could be a hard feat to achieve due to opposing factors that create such shortages. Whereas in some countries shortages are for instance created by lack of enough trained nurses, in other countries such shortage is created by their shifting from countries where they are in great need to those where their services can be afforded (ICN, 2006). It is on such perspective that it is worthy of note that addressing the issue of nurse shortage may not lie in increasing enrolment of nurses to training schools but on other fundamental aspects such as the economic well being of the population to be able to afford nursing services.

Having noted such a scenario, the issue of use of UCPs would then be addressed by the focus on their training to mitigate the adverse effects on the standard of care. As earlier advanced this would involve being placed in settings where they get acquainted with the technological and procedural advancements in various aspects of healthcare (Gill, 1996; CNA, 2008). Secondly such would require training and empowerment of supervising nurses to identify and separate those UCPs who are competent from non-competent ones so as to effectuate the delegation and assignment of tasks and procedures. Some of the guidelines to carry out such appraisal have been provided by various nursing bodies (CNO, 2009; CPNA, 2009; CNA, 2008). However and also as previously noted, some of the UCPs could be qualified professionals in their countries of origin but not accredited in the host countries (CNA, 2008). As such for these what may be needed could be an evaluation of the convergence and divergence factors of practice between these two countries to be able to absorb these to reduce nurse shortages.

In the aspect of cost control by use of UCPs it has been argued that such could be influenced by various factors. Whereas salaries of the UCPs are lower than those of professional care providers; other costs such as training costs and opportunity costs for lost quality may offset these (Gill, 1996). The use of costs as a way of to include UCPs and exclude nursing professionals may thus be ill advised. What such would mean is that the choice would be between providing quality care to users – moral culture – and reaping maximal profits for the care being provided – imprudent culture. From a business perspective it is notable that maintaining the right organizational culture – that generates a favourable reputation – is an equally important determinant of firm survival as is the financial performance (Heineman, 2007).

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