Allied health professionals are in demand at local institutions, labs
Nursing isn't the only health care profession that needs a shot in the arm. Equally severe shortages of workers in other sectors have become a nationwide concern.
At the top of the list are physical therapists.
"There is a tremendous need in Wisconsin for physical therapists. It's difficult to hire enough people to meet the need," said Sara Ehlert, vice president of physical therapy for Rehabilitation Associates Inc., a Mequon firm that provides rehabilitation services to nursing homes and other health care agencies throughout the state.
"We've been recruiting for seven to 11 physical therapists each month, and those numbers reflect expansion needs, not replacement needs."
A physical therapy supervisor at one local nursing home said the home has been looking for a full-time physical therapist since February.
"We've had one applicant," she said. "The demand is here. There's also a shortage of physical therapy assistants."
According to Fred Pairent, dean of the School of Allied Health Professions at UW-Milwaukee, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by the year 2000, the number of physical therapy positions will exceed more than 114,000, up from 61,200 in 1986.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that 44,600 occupational therapy positions will exist by the year 2000, up …