Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Future of Demeaning Low-Skill Jobs

NBC News reports on the response to California's new $20/hour minimum wage.

I have been looking forward to this.  There are lots of physically demanding often unskilled jobs that need automation. When I was recovering from my stroke, they would need to transfer me from my bed to a gurney for transport to X-ray, MRI, and a few machines I do not remember.  Two nurses would come in and pick me up to move me.  I had wasted away to 200 pounds (and I am now below that!) but it was still a unpleasant task.  

Often this was being done by an RN and an LVN.  Both are pretty well paid jobs and worth every penny they get for an often disgusting job.  A robot with padded arms and hands to pick up the patient with knowledge of generally sensitive areas on people and particularly sensitive areas on each patient would make this a good job for a robot.  Combine it with knowledge of where to take the gurney (MRI? X-ray?  Cath Lab?  Morgue?) and a heavy job that takes two people can be done as needed and perhaps faster.  There is some capital investment required, but medical care workers are in short supply, just like fast food workers.

We have been automating American society since the 1790s, making Americans better off and happier in the process.

1 comment:

  1. We have a new tool in our ICU, an inflatable, teflon-coated pad that stays under the pt. When we want to move the patient, we just hook up the hose, inflate the pad and slide them very easily up the bed or over to another bed. Amazingly, it works as well as advertised!

    There are a lot of 'walking wounded' nurses, and forced retirement after lifting injury is very common. This thing is wonderful.

    And I don't trust lift machines. They are usually far more trouble than they are worth.