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Never Good Enough: Health Care Workers and the False Promise of Job Training

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Abstract

[Excerpt] I have drawn on several qualitative research projects to compose an account of what the training and education industry for allied health care workers is, and what political (perhaps even ethical) dilemmas it poses. The evidence in the book is drawn from several research projects in which I was involved from 1999 to 2003, each of which examined work in health care, life in the sub-baccalaureate labor market, and the genesis and significance of a health care workforce training industry, albeit from different angles. First was a study of occupational change in three subacute care facilities (essentially a level of care between that of an acute care unit and a nursing home), with the aim of identifying where workers might need training. Second was an evaluation of a communication skills training program at a midsize teaching hospital in the center of one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. The third study focused directly on individual workers and the emergence of the industry to train them, for which I conducted in-depth interviews and observed several sessions of two additional training seminars—a customer service training program at a public hospital and an in-service on communication at one of the city's largest home health care agencies.

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The abstract, table of contents, and first twenty-five pages are published with permission from the Cornell University Press. For ordering information, please visit the Cornell University Press at http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/.

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2009-01-01

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health care; health care workers; training; education; labor market

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