The notion of paying any health worker merely the federal minimum wage is objectionable to many, and also can be ethically fraught. In many areas of the U.S., the cost of living is at least twice that amount. As a result, besides facing constant risk of injury and illness, health aides, environmental services workers, nursing and medical assistants, paramedics and other health workers—as well as their families—may face chronic financial instability and lack of health insurance coverage.
The issue includes the following articles.
- Psychiatric aides and technicians are part of direct-care workforces in inpatient units who are subject to high rates of violence but earn far less than higher-status clinicians.
“How Should Health Care Organizations Protect Personnel in Environmental Services and Related Fields?”
- The National Domestic Workers Alliance continues to organize around adequate labor protections for members, including care workers.
- This article applies opinions to organizational obligations and interprofessional collaboration in health care.
- Interdisciplinary care requires mutual understanding, trust and respect.
The journal’s September “Ethics Talk” podcast features a discussion with Noelle Driver, MD, an anesthesiology resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, about the status of low-wage health workers.
Upcoming issues of the journal will focus on health care waste, and price transparency and economic decision-making in health care. Sign up to receive email alerts when new issues are published.