Dr. Paul Osterman, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management at M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, is the featured keynote speaker for the upcoming NCTN conference. Dr. Osterman will address the conference’s theme, Advancing College and Career Readiness: Preparing Adult Learners for the Future of Work.
In his recent book, Who Will Care For Us? Long Term Care and the Long Term Care Workforce (Russell Sage, 2016), Osterman shows how direct care workers are marginalized and often invisible in the health care system. Using national surveys, administrative data, and nearly 120 original interviews with workers, employers, advocates, and policymakers, he documents how these workers report poverty-level wages, erratic schedules, exclusion from care teams, and frequent incidences of physical injury on the job.
Wanting to address this critical challenge, Dr. Osterman demonstrates how restructuring direct care workers’ jobs and providing the appropriate training would lead to better working conditions and would also improve the quality of elder care. His proposed job restructuring would integrate home care aides and CNAs into larger medical teams and train them as “health coaches” who educate patients on concerns (e.g., managing chronic conditions and transitioning out of hospitals). He concludes that restructuring direct care workers’ jobs with the appropriate training could lower health spending in the long term by reducing unnecessary emergency room and hospital visits, limiting the use of nursing homes, and lowering the rate of turnover among care workers.
Dr. Osterman’s other recent books include Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone (Russell Sage, 2011); and The Truth About Middle Managers: Who They Are, How They Work, How They Matter (Harvard Business School Press, 2009). In addition, he has written numerous articles and policy issue papers on topics such as the organization of work within firms, labor market policy, and economic development. He was a senior administrator of job training programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and consulted widely to firms, government agencies, foundations, community groups, and public interest organizations.