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A Pennsylvania Reader Says Obamacare Will Import Nurses Who Can`t Speak English
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October 26, 2013, 01:53 AM
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Steve Sailer’s blog post Instead Of H-1B, Why Not American Women Coders?

From: A Pennsylvania Patriot [Email him]

This is in response to Steve Sailer`s blog about how woman are not attracted to coding jobs because the opportunities are being usurped by Asian immigrants. But it also relates to how Obamacare is going to affect immigration.

Health care is another setting where we will see immigrants displacing American workers, and it is going to affect women in particular.

As we have seen in every country where a national health care system is in place, health care shortages are inevitable. The largest category of health care professionals is nursing, which is of course dominated by women.

For years, even before Obamacare was passed, the agencies that are supposed to be representing American nurses have been claiming there is a nursing shortage. But when you talk to actual nurses, especially new nursing graduates, or read the comments on articles related to the nursing shortage, you get a different picture. Nurses are unevenly distributed throughout the country and the shortages that do exist are largely for experienced nurses, nurse educators, training facilities, etc.

Whatever the degree of the nursing shortage is, rather than trying to resolve these issues internally by attracting Americans to the profession, the solution that we have repeatedly opted for is to import foreign-educated nurses. We have been doing this en masse for decades and it will only increase as Obamacare goes into effect.

The trouble is, as a study found earlier this year, higher concentrations of foreign-educated nurses directly correlates to decreased safety in the health care setting. This study recommended that hospitals try to ensure that less than 25% percent of their nurses be foreign-educated. [ Utilization of non-US educated nurses in US hospitals: implications for hospital mortality, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, June 2013]

That seems incredibly high to me!

Currently foreign-educated nurses make up approximately 6% of the nursing profession in the United States, which tells me that there is a real problem of distribution if some hospitals have as many as one in four nurses who are foreign-educated.

Is flooding the labor market with foreign nurses really going to solve the distribution problem?

Patient satisfaction is being completely ignored if not scoffed at in this situation. Who wants to be treated by a nurse who doesn`t speak English well?

Yet when patients complain about this they are considered racist bigots. There seems to be a greater concern about whether foreign nurses are tolerated by patients and co-workers than the actual effectiveness of their presence in the workplace.

If you think about the health care settings that are expanding most quickly, probably the first that comes to mind is care of the elderly. This happens to be a setting where many foreign-educated nurses are placed, in nursing home settings and hospices, since presumably the need for effective communication is lessened. To me, sticking our elderly in the care of foreigners is profoundly disrespectful, and a sure sign of the further degradation of our culture. This is something you rarely hear anyone speak out about, though.

Lastly, you can also criticize the solution of importing foreign nurses from a global humanitarian perspective. Thanks to our immigration system that favors Third World immigrants, we are taking health care professionals from some of the countries that need them the most.

Leftists love to criticize the colonialism of the past, but our current immigration policies are having at least as negative an impact to colonialism.

This is a real mess we`ve gotten ourselves into.

See a previous letter from the same author.