IB Vs AP: Expert Opinion on the Best Option 2023

IB vs AP: Which is the best option


Both are placement programs, but take different formats and for different situations. People who take AP have a reason – probably because they are Americans. Those who take IB too have their own reasons which we will break down in this blog. The IB vs AP duel suffices mostly in the US, along with Canada, where AP is actually offered. 

IB, on the other hand, is a global program with an international outlook. That of course does not deduct the fact that AP credits are compatible with universities in over 60 countries across the world. Americans have a big decision to make, as the rest of the world embraces IB as the only & acceptable international university placement program. 

Small History of IB vs AP

history of  ib vs ap


International Baccalaureate (IB) was established in the year 1968 by the IBO, a non-for-profit group of scholars, primarily to offer standardized international education. 

The IB Diploma, the highest level in the program, was introduced with an aim of “providing an internationally acceptable university admissions qualification suitable for the growing mobile population of young people whose parents were part of the world of diplomacy, international and multinational organizations.”

IB was initially conceived in Geneva, Switzerland, but has since spread its wings across the world, gaining global approval. The program is now practiced in over 150 countries across the world. IB is still headquartered in Geneva with the Global Center for the Americas region situated in Washington DC, the United States.


The Advanced Placement (AP) program is actually considered as an exam for transitioning to university, since nothing matters in AP as the exam. 

AP traces its roots to the United States and was developed by the College Board, a non-profit organization, in the 1950s. The primary goal was to provide high school students with college-level courses and exams to demonstrate their readiness for higher education.

AP exams are conducted on a placement basis for students in grades 11 and 12, to prepare the students for college studies. Credits earned from AP in high school are sometimes forwarded to the university to alleviate credit scores.

Structure of IB

structure of IB program

IB has four programs for learners aged 3-19. These are the Primary Years Program, the Middle Years Program, the Diploma Program, and the Career-related Program. The Diploma Program is the most common, taken up by students around the world who seek international university placement.

IB Diploma is structured into core components, subject groups, assessment, and the Creativity, Activity, and Service program (CAS).

The three subject components are the Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and the Creative, Activity, and Service (CAS) project. These three are compulsory. The student is expected to deliver a TOK essay and exhibition as part of Theory of Knowledge. 

The Extended Essay is a 4000-word essay on a topic of choice. CAS, on the other hand, is a long-term project lasting from the beginning of the IB Diploma all the way to the end. While the CAS is not graded, it is a mandatory requirement for IB Diploma.

Students are also mandated to select six subjects from the various subject groups.  Internal assessment (exams) are tested on these subjects. The extended essay is also based on these subjects. It is advisable to select topic combinations with your eyes cast at the university. Pick the subjects you plan to major in for higher education.

Structure of the AP

Structure of the AP program

AP is not as complex as IB. Apart from the AP Capstone project, everything else is tested at the exam. Interestingly, there is no requirement to take the AP course in order to sit for the AP exams. The important thing is to register for these exams quite early. 

AP Capstone project consists of seminar or research which have deliverables to hand in at the close of the AP exams. AP exams are done in May before the summer break. Once scores from these exams become ready, students get a chance to send them to their preferred universities for placement. Here is the exam schedule for 2024.

Criticism of the AP Program

criticism of AP

The AP program has been here for a while, and all this time concerns have been raised regarding the quality of this program:

Emphasis on Memorization: Critics argue that AP courses often focus on memorization and test preparation, rather than fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and deep understanding of the subject matter. The heavy reliance on multiple-choice exams can encourage rote learning.

Variable Quality: The quality of AP courses can vary significantly from school to school and even from one teacher to another. Some AP courses may be rigorous and well-taught, while others may fall short of providing a college-level experience, leading to inconsistent outcomes for students.

Focus on Test Scores: The emphasis on AP exam scores can overshadow the true purpose of education, which is to foster a love for learning and develop a well-rounded, informed individual. Critics argue that the pressure to achieve high test scores can lead to a “teach to the test” mentality.

College Credit Challenges: Despite the promise of college credit, not all colleges and universities accept AP credits, and some may only accept them for certain subjects. This can be frustrating for students who took AP courses with the expectation of receiving college credit.

Exclusivity and Elitism: Some critics contend that the AP program perpetuates elitism by creating an academic hierarchy where students who take AP courses are seen as superior to those who do not. This can lead to feelings of exclusion and inferiority among students who do not participate in the program.

Advantages of the AP over IB

Advantages of AP over IB

Subject-Specific Focus

The AP program is known for its subject-specific approach, allowing students to dive deep into their areas of interest. This can be particularly appealing for students who have a strong passion for specific subjects or career aspirations that require in-depth knowledge in particular fields. With AP, students can select courses that align perfectly with their academic and career goals, creating a tailored educational experience.

Flexibility in Course Selection

AP offers a high degree of flexibility when it comes to choosing courses. Students can pick and choose from a wide array of subjects, often based on their interests and strengths. This flexibility allows them to create a well-rounded education while specializing in areas they are most passionate about. In contrast, the IB program has a more rigid curriculum structure, which may not provide the same level of course selection freedom.

College Credit Opportunities

One of the standout advantages of the AP program is the opportunity to earn college credit through the successful completion of AP exams. Many colleges and universities across the United States and in other countries offer credit or advanced placement to students who score well on AP exams. This not only accelerates their academic progress but can also save them both time and money in the long run. IB, while internationally recognized, may not provide the same level of college credit opportunities as AP in some regions.

Focus on Exam Performance

AP is centered around end-of-course exams, which means that students primarily need to focus on their exam performance to earn college credit or advanced placement. This format can be advantageous for students who excel in exam-based assessments and feel more comfortable with this type of evaluation. In contrast, the IB program emphasizes continuous evaluation through various components, including extended essays, projects, and presentations, which may not suit everyone’s learning style.

Well-Established in the United States

For students in the United States, the AP program is well-established and widely recognized. Many high schools offer a range of AP courses, and colleges are familiar with the rigor and content of these courses. This strong presence makes it a seamless transition for students aspiring to attend U.S. colleges and universities.

Easier Integration with Extracurricular Activities

The flexible nature of AP courses allows students to better balance their academic commitments with extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, or part-time jobs. This can be especially beneficial for students who want to maintain a well-rounded lifestyle during high school.

Why Choose IB

Why choose IB

Before anything else, your decision to take the IB Diploma should be aimed at getting a global university placement. This applies for students who wish to study abroad, and a global program like IB would be highly useful. 

Apart from this, IB has a myriad of other benefits:

A World of Opportunities:

The IB program offers a unique international perspective that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional education. It’s designed to equip students with a global mindset, making them well-prepared to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. If you have a passion for exploring different cultures, languages, and global issues, IB can be an exciting choice.

A Holistic Approach:

Unlike other high school programs, IB doesn’t just focus on academic excellence. It emphasizes holistic development by requiring students to engage in Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) activities. This not only enriches your personal growth but also looks impressive on college applications. If you believe in the importance of well-rounded education, IB might be your ideal fit.

College and Career Advantages:

Many colleges and universities worldwide highly value the IB diploma. In addition to the advanced coursework, the program demonstrates your commitment to rigorous academics. It may even grant you college credits, allowing you to potentially graduate early or explore more advanced coursework in higher education.

I do hope that finally the IB vs AP rivalry is finally decided, and if not, you can consider reaching out. Choose your poison and do it wisely, as this is a lifetime and irreversible decision.

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AP Exams Schedule: Useful Information for New Class of 2024

2024 ap exams schedule

AP exams schedule spans two weeks from May 6-17 in the year 2024 – this is the new information from the College Board, the oversight body in charge of AP exams in America and elsewhere. 

This blog will take you through the key events as we draw closer to the big day – May 6, 2024, when you finally get to sit for your AP exams.

Big Day It is: Importance of Sitting for the AP Exams

While AP is not compulsory in most schools, taking the course is worth a treasure after high school. 

  • University Placement – AP stands for Advanced Placement, which outrightly tells you what it is. AP is a placement exam/course recognized by universities across the world. Actually, AP is more preferred when you’re looking to study abroad, as you could use the credits to land a slot in giant universities across the world. For locals it’s even better, as American universities give immense privilege to AP- certified students among other goodies as you’ll see below.
  • University/college Credits – Universities across the United States and select destinations accept AP qualification for a significant number of credits. Students who take AP in high school, therefore, spend less time in university or college. AP subjects are superior and almost equivalent to courses offered by universities. Normally, colleges award 3 credits minimum for every AP exam taken. When these credits stack up together you end up spending less time and money in college/university.
  • More Knowledge/Skills Acquisition – Before any other objective, any form of education is meant to expand your knowledge base. The more you study and – as you do in AP – and sit for an exam, your knowledge expands to greater lengths. Sitting for the AP exams demonstrates your proficiency in the various fields of knowledge.
  • A better edge to select your major – High school exams may not spell out your strengths and give you a better edge to filter out your passions versus what you are actually good at.

If you have completed the 1 year taking AP, it would make more sense to take the exam after that. The course is also offered in the final year of highschool, and you may not have another chance to take the exam once you finish college.

AP Exams Schedule for the Class of 2024

2024 ap exams schedule

The 2024 AP exams schedule has been released, and here it is from start to end.

The 2024 AP exams will be administered for two weeks between May 7 and May 13. 

Schools are not allowed to test for these exams earlier than the stipulated dates and times, but there is an allowance to sit for the exams at a later stage. Check the College Board website for the 2024 AP exams late-testing schedule.

Exams are administered in two sessions during the day; first session starting 8am and the second session starting 12.pm in the afternoon.  Each exam session takes 2-4 hours depending on the nature of the course.

Week 1Morning Session8.amAfternoon Session12.pm
Monday May 6United States Government and PolicyArt History
Tuesday May 7Human Geography
Wednesday May 8English Literature and CompositionComparative Government and Politics
Computer Science A 
Thursday May 9Chinese Language and Culture
Environmental Science
Friday May 10European History
United States History
Spanish Literature and Culture
Week 2Morning Session8.am Afternoon Session12.pm
Monday May 13Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Italian Language and Culture
Tuesday May 14English Language and CompositionAfrican American Studies
Physics C: Mechanics
Wednesday May 15French Language and Culture
World History: Modern
Computer Science Principles
Music Theory
Thursday May 16Spanish Language and CultureBiology
Japanese Language and Culture
Friday May 17German Language and Culture
Physics 1: Algebra-Based
Physics 2: Algebra- Based

Note that the exam Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism will be administered on Tuesday May, 2024 from 2.pm in the afternoon – The latest the exam can be offered is 3.pm the same day. All other regulations on early and late testing are as stipulated for other exams.

For Art and Design, Friday May 10, 2024 8.pm (E.T) is the deadline for AP Arts and Design to submit their final portfolio components in the AP Digital Portfolio.

AP African American Studies Exam Pilot: For the 2024 AP Exam administration, only schools that are participating in the 2023-24 AP African American Studies Exam Pilot can order and administer the exam.

AP Seminar end-of-course exams are only available to students taking AP seminar at a school participating in the AP Capstone Diploma Program.

AP has set April 30th as the deadline for submission of AP Seminar and AP Research performance tasks.

April 30th is also the deadline for submission of Create performance tasks for AP Computer Science Principles students.

The AP exams schedule is arguably the most critical of all, but doesn’t deduct the significance of other events in the run-up to the May 2024 exams. Take a look at a simplified version of important dates for AP students in the 2024 academic year.

AP 2023-2024 Important Dates (For Students)

ap exams 2023-2024 important dates

August – September [1st Week of School] – Create Class Sections and Share Joining Codes

AP coordinators/ teachers create class sections and share joining codes with students. Immediately after students should use these codes to join their preferred courses and begin classes. 

Students join and take classes in My AP, a digital learning platform provided by the college board for E-learning.

August – September [1st Week of School] – Start AP Classes

Having received joining codes for their respective classes, students access the AP resources at My AP to commence classes immediately. 

Teachers provide relevant AP Daily videos and topic questions in their instructions as part of the AP classes.

October – December Continue Using AP Resources

Classes continue, as teachers introduce progress checks. These are milestones to guide students as they continue to use the AP Daily videos and topic questions. 

January 2024 – Second Semester Begins

Activities enter the home stretch of AP 2023-2024. This is the semester for exams.

Teachers/coordinators create new class sections and generate joining codes for courses that begin in January.

January – April Continue Using AP Resources

Students are engaged in a prolonged learning session to study AP Daily videos and topic checks. Progress checks will also come in handy, both for continuation of 1st semester units and for units begun in the second semester.

January 18 – Deadline to Submit Accommodation Requests for Students with Disabilities

This is the deadline for SSD coordinators to submit accommodation requests for special exams for students with disabilities and supporting documentation (if needed) through SSD Online.

Students who are successfully approved for special exams for the disabled are beneficiaries of assistive technology exam formats such as braille, human assistants to dictate questions and record responses, extended time, and extra breaks according to disabilities in question.

You can check the entire process for documentation of students with disabilities at the official AP page.

May 6-10 AP Exams Begin, Week 1

The AP exams schedule spans two weeks, starting May 6. The first week of the exam witnesses two exam sessions each day; a morning one, and the second one starting at 12.pm. 

May 13 – 17 AP Exams Enter Week 2

The second exam week features a similar routine as the first. Students, teachers, and administrators gang up for the final interaction in the AP program.

Note that it is during this week when students sit for the Physics 2: Electricity and Magnetism exam, administered on Tuesday May 14, 2024 from 2.pm.

June 20 – Deadline for Using Free Scores

AP offers free scores – an opportunity for students to send their AP scores to universities/colleges of their choice. Students can use the free scores to send any AP scores from previous exams to land a placement at the university, or to get credits. 

While June 20 is the deadline for using free scores, students can send their results any other time – only that it won’t be free.

July – AP Scores Come Out

Some time in July, after exams have been completed two months prior, AP releases final and official exam results to students.

At this point results are ready for everyone, and students can now send their scores to universities/colleges for consideration, or to earn credits.

The access schedule for 2024 AP exams is not available, but will be up in the spring of 2024.

Study Tips and Preparation

Preparation is key to success on AP exams. Here are some study tips to help you excel:

  • Start early: Begin your review well in advance to cover all the material.
  • Use official materials: Utilize official AP exam resources, such as practice tests and review guides.
  • Create a study schedule: Plan your study time to cover all subjects and allocate extra time for challenging topics.
  • Seek help: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your teachers, join study groups, or use online forums for support.

Test-Day Guidelines

2024 ap exams test-day guidelines

On exam day, make sure you arrive at the testing center on time. You’ll need to bring your valid ID, admission ticket, No. 2 pencils, and other required materials. Review the AP Student Exam Day Checklist for a comprehensive list of what to bring and what not to bring.

AP is a globally-accepted placement program, recognized by universities in more than 60 countries across the world. An alternative program battles it out. It is the IB program which gives you an equally higher chance to ace a university placement. Read about IB here.

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Caregiver Burnout: How to Prevent and Manage Stress

Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver Burnout

Caregivers are faced with one major challenge – and that is emotional fatigue from attending to people they love and want to care for. Burnout is detrimental to caregiving as when interest fades the care receiver may not get the right care. 

What is a caregiver?

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was quoted; 

“there are four kinds of people; those who have been caregivers, those that are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those that will need caregivers”.

Caregivers are normally volunteers who offer to help a loved one without necessarily getting paid in exchange. Essentially, caregiving is offered to people who need it, that is the elderly, disabled, the chronically ill, mothers in maternity, survivors of accidents, and seldom people with mental incapacitations. 

Some of the services offered by caregivers include preparation of meals, running errands, assistance with bathing, assistance with using the toilet, manual assistance in walking and making body movements, handling medical equipment and performing paramedical tasks, and engaging the person in chats, fun games and activities. In as much as infant children are given the same attention, it is often not counted as caregiving unless the child grows to an independent age and still requires personalized care out of the aforementioned reasons.

Caregivers are often relatives and close friends who take care of their loved ones. However, some would be employees who offer care in exchange for a wage/salary. The former are often unpaid and may go without much appreciation, killing their  morale and partly accounting to burnout. 

What causes caregiver burnout?

Caregiver burnout is an emotional experience that affects the whole physical and mental well-being, and that is the reason it affects loved ones more than those that get paid to offer care. Either way everyone is in the risk if they are exposed to these factors;

  1. Overcommitment

The primary cause of caregiver burnout is overcommitment. Due to many other reasons the caregiver may drain their physical and emotional energy out of dedicating too much time and energy to offer care. Burnout comes as a result of this exhaustion along with emotional interferences caused mainly by overcommitment. Caregivers are workers too, and require frequent rests in order to offer quality care to their loved ones.

  1. Huge workload and insufficient support

Too much work and less hands to support lead to overcommitment aforementioned. Some caregivers are tasked with every part of the care receiver’s life, and since they have great concern for the person they end up bearing all the responsibilities without negotiating with the care receiver and without requesting for support from other relatives and friends. If the workload is too much, there is always the option of hiring an additional hand.

  1. Conflicting Obligations

Caregivers may have other commitments in their lives apart from the current role of caregiving. These are family members belonging to other families, they bear responsibilities to provide for themselves and their families, as well as take care of the person in need. Dilemmas draw so much interest from either of the two conflicting commitments. Caregivers will reduce their interests in taking care of their loved one, as they find a balance between the two conflicting commitments.

  1. Lack of control over the welfare of the care receiver

Not everything is manageable, affordable, and achievable in human health. However, this is not in the minds of many caregivers. They always believe everything is in control and get frustrated when it becomes imminent that they are short-handed. Finances may lack, the deteriorating health of the care receiver may exacerbate, and the disability may be permanent to the point of no repair. Caregivers find it difficult to stomach this, and it’s the hopelessness that burns them out.

Signs of caregiver burnout

  • Loss of interest in offering care, as well as in doing other things that were formerly fun for the caregiver.
  • Drained energy – to offer care as well as perform other functions. The caregiver is grossly exhausted.
  • Anger and irritability – pointless things irritate the caregiver. He/she may also get irritated by the care receiver, something that would rarely happen before.
  • Feelings of desolateness, emptiness, hopelessness; depression. It all starts from lacking interest, and the feeling graduates to desolateness and within no time the caregiver is suffering from depression. At this point there is no return, and the remedy is giving up care for someone else.
  • Imposter syndrome where the caregiver doubts their abilities, skills, and potential, and sees no impacts of their efforts.

Solutions to caregiver burnout

Reach out – Burnout is emotional more than physical, and the first responder is always someone who can assist with emotional stress. This could be a physiotherapist, counsellor, or any qualified specialist. However, in the meantime the caregiver can share with just someone; family, friends, or even the care receiver.

Establish open communication – inform the care receiver of any thoughts you reserve, make sure they understand the prevailing circumstances and seek if they have any preferences themselves. Sometimes caregivers give so much more than the receivers want. Care receivers will want to be independent, and a way can surely be worked out to alleviate demands.

Accept realities – some conditions are irreversible, a sickness may be long-term, and old age is inevitable. Caregivers should understand their capabilities, that caregiving has red lines and they have to take breaks. 

Rest and intermittent shifts – in the case where there are more family members, friends, or other potential caregivers, arrangements should be made such that an individual is not overburdened with attending to the care receiver. It is important that everyone gets to rest, and also have time for other commitments in their lives.

Alternative respite care – Respite care is short-term relief for caregivers through simple services like food delivery and a half-day stay at a nursing home. Family members and friends have always dreaded the idea of “abandoning” their loved ones in nursing homes, thus strain so much offering care at home. Respite care preempts the need for 24/7 home-based care and permanent stay at the nursing home. 

Love makes caregivers blind to the extent that the love starts to fade and anger creeps in. Caregivers ought to separate their relationship to the receiver with their responsibilities as a caregiver. Employing someone else to offer care is not very welcomed, as family members feel they are abandoning their loved ones. A holistic approach is the best approach – divide labor, include outsiders, and invoke respite care.

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Healthcare Policy 101: Simple Definition, Types, and Advantages

Healthcare Policy Definition

Health Policy Defined

Healthcare is one of the most regulated professions/services by all and sundry. Hospitals and facilities put in place very stringent policies to dictate how, when, and where health care should be administered. Governments carry the greater obligation to register rules, laws, and regulations through constitutionally-approved parliaments, courts, ministries, agencies, and departments.

Healthcare policies are composite. They define all areas within hospitals, public facilities, sanitation centers, water distribution, environmental management, transport, businesses – literally every aspect of life that is visited by a human being. We shall look at those ones but first, let us define healthcare policy.

What is Healthcare Policy?

Healthcare policy is a set of rules, laws, regulations, procedures, and decisions implemented in a particular health setting, region, country, or any section and fullness of the world, geared towards informing and directing healthcare officers and the greater public to achieve better healthcare standards and attain specific healthcare goals.

Healthcare policy is set by various stakeholders, top of which is the government. Furthermore, governments that align to specific regional health regulatory bodies subscribe to the policies of that body, for instance many countries (at least UN member countries) carry the policies provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) into their healthcare systems.

Within governments there are many stakeholders that do the regulation and policy setting on behalf of the government. These are legislative bodies such as the parliament who append government decisions in to law, judicial institutions such as courts which interpret policies, and make rulings on the case of specific policies, ministries which provide rather suggestive and advisory frameworks for the public to observe, and agencies that develop the laws and regulations on behalf of the government and through the defined legal guidelines.

Organizations to which healthcare facilities and practitioners belong also prescribe policies to be observed within these facilities. Workers unions mandate hospitals to observe policies governing the treatment and convenience of their member workers, while hospital unions require member hospitals to observe particular healthcare administration policies.

Importance of Healthcare Policy

  1. Efficient healthcare administration

Policies describe the roles for everyone, detail the procedures observed in healthcare administration, and explain how patients, drugs, and information should be handled. Without these policies, healthcare facilities would turn chaotic and have many obstructions of speed.

  1. Safety for all

Part of health care policy are the safety and precautions to be observed during the administration of treatment. These measures are observed to sterilize healthcare administered to the patients, protect the healthcare practitioner in the process, and seal the greater public from health hazards and pandemics.

  1. Enhanced environment for healing and health management

Healthcare cannot be separated from the environment, and patients become what the environment consists of. Environmental healthcare policies prevent the contracting and spread of particular diseases, and eliminate factors that deny patients the much needed comfort to attain health success.

  1. Prudent resource management

By detailing how infrastructure, supplies, and other resources should be handled, healthcare policy fosters optimal performance of available resources. Drug handling policy makes clear the potions to be made available at a given time, machine handling policies dictate who is cleared to handle medical machinery, and accountability policies rationalize spending by various stakeholders.

  1. A conducive working experience

Health policy reserves a prominent concern for the healthcare staff – the most important asset in the industry. In return, employees get an experience of their lifetime, and are psyched up to relinquish their mandate of delivering quality care to those who need it.

Types/subcategories of Healthcare Policies

Patient care policy

Healthcare policy is focused towards composite goals, but patient care remains the primary aim for the establishment of healthcare institutions and the formalization of healthcare policy. Patient care is comprehensive, and departs from the specific range of services rendered by a particular healthcare facility.

Patient care sets up the procedural framework for the handling of patients, how they are treated, the management of diseases, treatment conditions, and the laws as to the decisions made by the patient. Policies within the realm of patient care include treatment, nutrition and dietetics, patient’s rights and obligations, abuse and mistreatment, and admission and discharge.

Health and safety policies

Healthcare policies define the spectrum of guidelines dedicated for observing a healthy environment and managing safety for everyone. Patients require a safe and clean environment for successful and speedy healing. Policy frameworks establish specific safety procedures to be observed when handling patients in order to prevent infections to the already sick patient, and to protect healthcare staff from health hazards. Within safety policies are protocols for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) – how and when to use them.

Drug Handling and Pharmacy Policies

Pharmacy is a critical wing to patient care, by managing the administration of medication relevant for successful and risk-free treatment. Preservation of the quality of drugs is key, as specific instructions have to be followed as prescribed by the manufacturer.

Drugs need their storage prioritized, transport and logistics properly managed, administration to be in order, and safe disposal of drugs after they serve their purpose or lose their quality either by expiry or contamination. Through drugs handling policies, pharmacists are mandated to account for all procurements, prescriptions, and supply of drugs to both inpatients and outpatients.

Workplace policy and code of ethics

It is paramount that every workplace irrespective of the industry, enacts particular guidelines to streamline performance, foster workplace relationships, and attend to the needs of employees. In health settings it is all the same as long as safety and security concerns are well addressed. Code of ethics is a composite framework for the professional conduct of the staff, and may define reactions to unprecedented cases, avoiding impulsive and non-informed decision making. Employee code of ethics is planted deep into the organizational culture for efficient adherence.

Data and information security

Patients relinquish sensitive data to healthcare handlers for healthcare purposes, data that would be very detrimental if it lands on the wrong hands, and when used for nefarious purposes other than healthcare administration. Data protection policies detail the amount of data allowed to be collected from patients, the use of patient information, and how the data should be stored. If the worst happens and patient information leaks, the brunt is potentially heavier on the hospital/facility and risk legal retributions.

Policies are instrumental for service delivery in all industries, but it is in the health sector where policy is arguably most paramount. When the lives of people are on the line, every responsible institution, organization, or agency ought to jump in and give their bit in policy making. Healthcare policies are regulations, and ought to be followed without question.

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Nursing Process Made Easy: A Practical Approach for New Nurses

nursing process demystified

The Nursing Process 101

The acronym ADPIE is perhaps the most recited in nursing school. It stands for Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. This is the nursing process, which is defined as a systematic plan based on patient-centered and evidenced-based care, administered to a patient to attain health success.

The nursing process is fragmented into five steps as elaborated by the acronym ADPIE. Introduced into public healthcare education in 1961 as the Deliberative Nursing Process Theory by Ida Jean Orlando, the nursing process has attained international acclamation as the ultimate guide to systemic administration of healthcare. Since 1961 the process has remained intact; very simple yet so complex to eradicate any room for risks and losses.

Importance of the Nursing Process

The nursing process is a complete go-to manual for provision. It provides a framework from the onset of the patient’s visitation up to discharge.

  • Acquisition of background information on the patient for purposes of treating.
  • Establishment of health risks, hazards, and concerns within a patient.
  • Determination of the disease mitigation discourse suitable to the patient’s needs.
  • Preparation of a detailed and successful health care plan.
  • Eradication of healthcare administration risks due to misinformation.
  • Evaluation of patients’ progress during and after treatment.

The nursing process is both a deliberate and precautionary plan. Deliberate because it becomes the basic manual to administration of healthcare for patient success, and precautionary because it helps avoid healthcare catastrophes, and prevents the repercussions of errors, omissions, and general mistakes. Healthcare mistakes attract legal retribution that may be costly to the facility but also to the practitioner’s career. 

The Nursing Process



This is the nurse’s first interaction with the patient. The remaining steps highly depend on assessment, as this stage is dedicated to acquisition of information on every aspect of the patient’s life. Some common types of information collected include: 

  • Medical history of the patient’s past and currently prevailing health conditions, 
  • Social information on the patient’s family and relationship with everyone else. Cultural information is also relinquished at this stage, to allow the nurse premeditated communication amidst prevailing cultural differences/similarities.
  • Objective data is information acquired from the patient through interaction with the patient’s body. Nurses feel senses of sight, touch, and conduct other processes to get signs necessary for a diagnosis. It is in this stage that blood samples are taken and imaging conducted to establish a diagnosis.

Some information gathering tactics during assessment are:

  • Patient interview (questions directed to a patient for them to express their feelings and give any information relevant for treatment.
  • Relative interview – friends and relatives are questioned on how they observe the patient at home.
  • Other sources include books and the internet.

#Information from the assessment stage should be preserved not just for treatment purposes, but because the patient has that right.


The second step entails investigation into the specific illness or prevailing health concerns suffered by the patient. While the first step entails collection of data, diagnosis entails the analysis of this data. The following are some of the objectives of diagnosis;

  • Analyse patient information to arrive at a conclusion, through this the nurse arrives at the illness affecting the patient.
  • Detect any gaps or irregularities in the information provided by the patient. The resulting discourse would be reporting the irregular responses to the patient and relevant handler. Misinformation is fatal to the patient’s health.
  • Notice any health concerns not mentioned by the patient.

Nursing diagnosis takes four forms as shown below:

  • Problem-focused nursing diagnosis, whereby nursing diagnosis is targeted to the specific concern raised by the patient.
  • Risk nursing diagnosis, whereby diagnosis is targeted to establish health risks.
  • Health promotion nursing diagnosis focuses on maintaining the patient’s growth of well-being.
  • Syndrome diagnosis incorporates predictive diagnostics and possible syndromes that may attack.

Diagnosis results in needs that require solutions in the form of interventions.


The health care plan is developed at this stage. Other literatures have divided preparation into two; outcomes, and planning. Outcomes are the expectations anticipated by the nurse out of the healthcare plan. These are the SMART goals set by the nurse and set to be achieved through the health care plan to be prepared.

The care plan is a composite document that elaborates the interventions to be taken by the nurse to achieve the set goals for the well-being development of the patient. Registered Nurses (RN’s) are mandated with developing and supervising care plans, although some interventions may be delegated to Licensed Practical Nurses and Nurse Assistants. These plans are documented and permanently maintained so that they are followed by different nurses during shifts, ensuring a congruent and consistent healthcare administration.


The plan in writing is now put to work, hospital staff holistically applying the healthcare plan to chip in each with their own interventions. Implementation stage is the administration of healthcare to patients using the stipulated healthcare plan. The following activities take place in the implementation stage:

  • Distribution of resources for patient care. Some of these resources include supportive equipment, accommodation in the stay will be lengthy, and any other necessary health resources.
  • Delegation of responsibilities. The nurse establishes the different interventions, and assigns them to different specialists.
  • Communication. Every step taken by the nurse on behalf of the hospital is communicated to the patient and consent is affirmed.
  • Documentation. All activities, interventions, and resources used are documented for the record.

Patients are highly monitored during the implementation, and any discordance with the intended expectations are immediately dealt with. These are risks that result from errors and omissions.


Finally, after the patient has been assessed, diagnosed, a plan prepared and implemented, there has to be evaluation on the progress of the patient in reaction to the various interventions used during the implementation stage. Evaluation is also another process which comprises of six steps;

  1. Collection of data on the progress of the patient
  2. Comparison of the collected data with the set objectives and the expected outcomes
  3. Analysis of the patient’s responses to the interventions, and generally activities carried out by the staff to improve the patient’s well-being.
  4. Identifying the key indicators of success or failures in the performance of the patient
  5. Action on the care plan as per the results; to either halt, suspend, continue, or make adjustments to the healthcare plan, and
  6. Planning for discharging the patient from one stage to another. 

And the nursing process is done, from the introduction of the patient to the nurse up to the point of discharge. One important aspect stands out, and that is the nurse-patient relationship. Communication is paramount, as it builds a trustworthy rapport between the two, with the patient exhibiting positive responses from treatment care plans.

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Nursing Theory Made Easy: 20+ Theories Explained

nursing theory

Nursing Theory Explained

The advent of increased interests in nursing education around 1800 AD paved way for a multitude of suggestions and ideas as to how the field and profession of nursing can be better defined, taught, and practiced. These needs gave birth to over 20 verified theories in the field of nursing, the first one being Florence Nightingale‘s Environmental Theory and the latest one – Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring– was published in 1979.  

Nursing theory is specially organized into a metaparadigm of four concepts; person, health, nursing, and environment.

Nursing Theory Metaparadigm

The Nursing Theory Metaparadigm

Person refers to the patient in question. Dr. Jacqueline Fawcett implored that patients have differently unique physical, social, emotional, and religious dimensions, and ought to be attended to in their unique forms.

Environment refers to the situational context upon where nursing care is being provided. The concept of environment in nursing covers not just the physical environment but rather the cultural factors that encumber patient care, and nurses are required to attend to these factors when delivering patient-centered care. Technology has come to enhance this environment, and here are some of the technological strides in the field of nursing.

Health is the primary concept in nursing theory, and the main responsibility in the profession.  Nurses have a duty to avail quality healthcare to patients, which covers not only physiological health but rather mental and social well-being. 

Nursing concept revolves around nurses themselves; their responsibilities, qualities, skills, experience, knowledge, and attitude. Nursing education provides the knowledge and skills necessary for provision of quality care, while nurses ought to seek experience and display proper attitude when handling patients.

Nursing Theories

nursing theory

Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory (1800) – emphasizes the importance of a clean environment in the setting where healthcare is administered. Nightingale opined that sickness is the absence of comfort and a clean environment, by providing comfort, helps in the healing process of the patients.

Hildegard Peplau’s Interpersonal Relations Theory (1952) – emphasizes on the importance of the nurse-patient relationship, and it being anchored on a positivity framework. Peplau detailed the nurse-patient relationship into three stages; initial orientation, a dynamic working stage, and a courteous termination.

Virginia Henderson’s Nursing Need Theory (1955) – establishes that nursing is part of human beings’ basic wants, and nurses have a hefty responsibility to help people with fundamental human needs such as breathing, feeding, cleanliness, relieving, walking, as well as maintaining a comfortable posture.

Faye Abdellah’s 21 Nursing Problems Theory of Nursing (1960) – laid the ground for the development of the nursing theory from disease-centered to patient-centered care. Abdellah’s theory defines nursing as a science and art that brings together the skills and competencies of individual nurses in to centralize their care to helping people from their sicknesses and deliver well-being.

Ida Jean Orlando’s Deliberative Nursing Process (1962) – provided the framework for treatment management, giving a detailed procedure through which the nursing process goes through; assessment of the patient’s subjective and objective data, diagnosis of the problem(s) leading to insufficient health, implementation of the care plan that was formed in the previous diagnostic stage, and evaluation of the patient’s progress after implementation of the care plan, towards the goal of the patient’s treatment process.

Martha Roger’s Science of Unitary Beings (1970) – defines people as “unitary human beings”, insisting that human beings/patients cannot be separated from their immediate environment. The environment interacts  with the patient in the entire nursing process, and is pivotal in the most important of them – the healing process.

Dorothea Orem’s Self-care Deficit Theory (1971) – assumes that people have the ability to take care of their health and those of others. Self-care deficit implies that the inability of people providing their own self-care indicates the importance of nursing to come in and provide the needed care.

Imogene King’s Theory of Self Attainment (1971) – opines that patients as rational human beings, in a conducive environment, undergo growth and achievement of life goals in three realms; personal, interpersonal, and social growth. Personal growth entails the development and refinement of individual traits such as body image. Interpersonal is growth of the patient’s relationships with others, and social growth is attainment of organization, authority, power, and status.

Betty Neuman’s Systems Model (1972) – analyses the human body as a composite system embodied with a line of resistance. The system tends to react to various stressors in the form of physiological, psychological, developmental, sociocultural, and spiritual systems. Sickness is the jeopardizing of the line of resistance, and treatment seeks to restore this line if the energy is sufficient.

Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring (1979) – requires that nurses, during provision of care in any stage of the nursing process, exhibit sincere compassion, and establish a trustful relationship with the patient while administering care. Watson provides ten (10) principles around this theory, including self awareness of one’s egoistic levels, and institution of the spirit, mind and body in the treatment process.

Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model (1979) – establishes that human are adaptive beings who rely on environmental factors to build their personal integrity, which comprises of four modes; physiological mode of biological and physical well-being, self-concept mode of individual awareness, role function mode of adaptation to different roles in the society, and interdependence mode of relating and adapting to the social frameworks we are set in.

Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory (1982) – outlines the growth of nurse professionals through skills acquisition, both practically and situationally. Benner’s competency process has five steps; novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and finally an expert. The five steps have specific milestones that have to be achieved such as graduation, employment etc.

Katherine Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory (1990) – accentuates the importance of patient comfort during the nursing process. Kolcaba defined comfort in three dimensions; relief, which comes in the form of pain management; ease by incorporation of a friendly psychosocial environment, and transcending by making sure the patient rises above pain and sickness to achieve ultimate comfort.

Madeleine Leinenger’s Transcultural Nursing Theory (1991) – implies that nursing as a field is too critical to not embrace humanity in totality; together with the socio-cultural frameworks present within human beings. According to Leinenger, nurses ought to be cognizant of cultural differences between patients, and practice independently devoid of any judgements or prevailing cultural rigidities.

Kicker: Nursing theory is the backbone of practical practice in situational fields of nursing. Routine practices such as the nursing process and formation of a nursing care plan were introduced through theoretical works of nursing scholars, and the world of nursing can surely tell of the monumental role played by nursing theory in delivery of care.

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Exploring the Most Common Mental Disorders and How to Cope

Mental disorders explained

Mental Disorders

Depression Bipolar Anxiety Psychosis – Demystified

For the simple reason that there are uncountable mental disorders in existence, this article would go to lengths and still not manage to mention all psychological/psychiatric conditions. There are statistically about 450 recorded mental disorders, which can be grouped into major categories i.e. mood, anxiety, neurodevelopmental, post-traumatic stress, and psychotic disorders.

Mood Disorders

Majority of mental patients suffer symptoms along mood extremities and sometimes fluctuating extreme moods. Patients suffering from mood disorders will experience either extreme sadness, happiness, or a fluctuation between these two from time to time. Sadness has been commonly associated with depressive disorders, extreme happiness with manic disorders, while a fluctuation of the two becomes bipolar disorder.

Major Depressive Disorder is commonly known as Depression, with patients exhibiting extreme low interest in people, things, and activities. Common causes of MDD are family genes, serious illnesses affecting the brain, drugs and substance abuse, and degenerative personality traits such as low self-esteem, pessimism, and confinement to personal spaces. If unattended to, MDD patients risk having suicidal thoughts and taking their lives all the same.

Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental condition. Bipolar patients experience the two ends of emotions; extreme happiness (mania), and extreme sadness (depression). In most cases Bipolar patients are characterized by too much activity/reaction. Patients will exhibit abnormally high sex drive, eat excessively, become dangerously agitated, passionately rapid speech – altogether high energy in everything they do.

Even though causes of Bipolar are insufficiently studied, the condition is associated with biological peculiarities in the brains, genetics, and a host of risk factors like drug abuse, traumatic stress, and negative personality traits.

Other mood disorders are Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder associated with menstruation, and Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition caused by fluctuating seasonal changes.

Anxiety Disorders

anxiety mental disorders

Two terms are prominent – worry and fear. This is the definition of anxiety, which is the experience of patients who suffer from a myriad of conditions under anxiety disorders, whether periodically or permanently.

Agoraphobia is anxiety that stems from worry/fear associated with particular terror weaknesses called phobias. There exists innumerable phobias which can be categorized to natural environments (height, darkness, confined spaces), animals, injury/blood, activities (flying, using elevators, driving), and others like drowning and public speaking. Patients with agoraphobia only experience anxiety when exposed to risk factors, and therefore have to avoid the risks as much as they can, or get treatment.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when individuals experience normal life anxiety about day to day activities but on an advanced scale. GAD makes life become permanently anxious where everything worries the patient. The condition is fortunately curable.

Panic Disorder subjects its patients to frequent rushes of anxiety accompanied by physiological exhibitions such as palpitation, sweating, and shortness of breath. This rush is commonly referred to as a panic attack, and is also curable.

Social Anxiety Disorder refers to increased levels of fear of interacting with others, especially new people. 

Selective Mutism is a condition associated with children where the child may have speech failures in exterior settings such as school, while communicating normally with closely related people such as family members and friends.

Anxiety disorders transcend beyond mental/emotional symptoms. Actually, it is the physiological symptoms like sweating, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and uneasiness. Mental symptoms like panic, nightmares, and obsessive thoughts prompt the physiological anxiety episodes.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Some psychiatric conditions develop gradually as a person (child) grows, and have lasting impacts on the neurological composition of the person’s brain. Neurodevelopmental Disorders are often diagnosed in childhood, and the condition becomes untraceable when it progresses with the person to adulthood. Common Neurodevelopmental Disorders are Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Special Disorder (ASD).

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition of significantly increased activity exhibited by the child and subsequently in adulthood, and lessened attention to even serious events. ADHD children have academic performance deficiencies, poor relationships and low self esteem.

Autism Special Disorder (ASD) causes developmental impairments to the neural composition of the patient, particularly resulting in social interaction and communication challenges. Patient children exhibit impaired communication, reduced social interaction, and low coordination of body functions.

Psychotic Disorders

psychotic mental disorders are the most risky of them all, patients are referred to as "mad"

Patients are usually referred to as deranged, as they exhibit “mad” characteristics. In professional books, Psychosis covers a bunch of illnesses characterized by inter alia, hallucinations, delusions, inhibited communication, poor hygiene, incompetent decision-making, unusual walking and body movements, strange and sometimes dangerous behavior, inability to express emotion, and mood disorder symptoms such as mania or depression.

Schizophrenia is sometimes used interchangeably with Psychosis, but falls under the latter as a form of psychotic disorder. Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses are counted as disabilities, since affected patients cannot perform many human and other functions on their own. Medics and researchers have unsuccessfully settled on definite causes of Psychotic disorders, but common risk factors have been mentioned as genetic heritage, environmental factors, and drug abuse.

Delusion Disorder is a less severe edition of Schizophrenia. While in the latter the patient has an abnormal interpretation of reality and considered a disability in comprehension and decision making, Delusion Disorder entails formation of untrue delusions without specific formation of hallucinations. 

Psychotic illnesses at their worst break relationships, threaten the patient’s and other’s lives, and risks destruction of property – generally these people have their souls detached from their bodies such that their minds cannot implicate sound stimuli for normal body functioning.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a stand-alone psychiatric condition caused by extremely traumatic events such as physical attacks, terrorism, accidents, mistreatment in a phase of life, and medical experiences such as childbirth or sickness. Patients suffering from PTSD will experience guilt, fear, and uneasiness frequently. They may also have episodes of flashbacks and nightmares periodically, episodes that trigger stress. PTSD is readily diagnosable and curable by a variety of means such as behavioral therapy, medication, and physiotherapy. 

Sometimes conditions such as eating disorders, sex disorders, and substance used disorders are classified as mental disorders on their own. However, it is important to understand that these are symptoms caused by other prevailing conditions, some of which may include the above listed disorders.

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Bitcoin’s Game-Changing Features You Need to Know

Bitcoin's formidable features have changed the world's financial system entirely.

In October 2008, a white paper was released of a new form of global currency by an author who would become a mystery to many for over a decade – Satoshi Nakamoto. The white paper vehemently broke the internet, but the major seismic quake has over time been felt in the financial world. 

Satoshi’s Bitcoin was not the first attempt on digital currency. Several notable attempts were made at the close of the 20th century, including one by American Nick Szabo who created a similar currency known as Bit Gold in 1990. However, Bit Gold never came into public implementation.

Bitcoin’s introduction to the public in February 2009 as a form of digital peer to peer currency spurred a debate as to whether the world will finally have a digital currency that has the benefit of convenience like fiat currencies, and is decentralized and trustworthy to enable satisfactory transactions between two people.

Qualities of Bitcoin as a Currency

  1. A decentralized currency

Bitcoin’s creator built a system and released the software publicly on internet platforms. Satoshi made the first transaction and went on to gather about 1 million bitcoins from conventional means including 50 BTC as a peer node for verifying transactions and other means as well such as transactions. However, Satoshi wrote his last email in 2013 and has disappeared from the public ever since. 

First, Bitcoin software is an open source project, meaning anyone can contribute to it by posting review suggestions. A group of developers funded on donations controls Bitcoin Core – an affiliate organization that is entrusted and selected by the global community to review suggestions on the Bitcoin Software and maintain it. Otherwise Bitcoin has no central overseeing authority, and is controlled by peers such as you and me.

Secondly, the financial network runs on its own, and is expected to remain so in eternity. In fiat currency, the government has control over the introduction of new currency through central bank mints. Conversely, Bitcoins are introduced into the network through peer nodes that are incentivized for verifying transactions and registering timestamps (proofs of work) as a block appended to the blockchain.

2. Electronic, autonomous cash

    By the virtue of bitcoin remaining decentralized and without any central power controlling the circulation of the currency, the electronic form of value ownership is self-limiting and devoid of any monetary crises categorized as human made. 

    Bitcoin’s parent algorithm defined the distribution of coins over time to maintain a stable circulation. As mentioned earlier, coins are introduced into the economy by peer nodes, who are basically owners of computers that compete to verify sets of bitcoin transactions and in return the node owners are awarded a bitcoin incentive. Bitcoin circulation was capped at 21 million, and what would change is only the value of a single coin which has evidently gained value over time. This way, the economy will remain in control of itself with the value of the currency only controlled by market demand and supply dynamics. 

    Bitcoin consistent growth
    Bitcoin upward trend/photo courtesy

    Again Bitcoin is not eternal. At some point the coins will cease from production and the 21 million coins will remain as the only coins in circulation, decimated into smaller fragments called Satoshis. This (capping) is possible through an algorithm known as halving. Nodes (Bitcoin miners) who verify transactions were first awarded 50 BTCs in the first 210,000 bitcoins mined. After every 210,000 coins mined, which has been approximately set at 4 years, the incentive to miners is reduced by 50%.

    It has been about 12 years since mining started, and the incentive has since decimated to 6.25, and the incentive is set to go down further to 3.125 in 2024. While only after 15 years the BTC circulation has reached 19 million, 21 million might seem so close. However, due to the halving effect, the cap can only be arrived at at 2140 latest. Till then, miners will still be validating and getting awarded bitcoins, but their value will be prominent given demand keeps growing in the upward trajectory.

    Check out our article on the profitability of bitcoin mining:

    3. Irreversible transactions, impossible for double spending

    One initial concern with digital/electronic cash was its susceptibility to double payment. This happens when a previous owner of electronic cash, through their own means, retains the original cash or fraudulently reproduces the original money after making a transaction. In Bitcoin, this can only happen when an attacker alters with the information to be appended at the blockchain. After every transaction, miners are required to create a specific hash attributed to specific transactions.

    The first hash to be produced is appended to the blockchain. If the attacker creates a modified hash and interferes with the blockchain information, double spending will ultimately be possible.

    However, Bitcoin’s algorithm was created such that hashes are created in a short time – one block after every 10 minutes. The attacker must manage to create the modified block within this short period, which is practically impossible considering a billion combinations are possible and one has to be found within that time.

    Bitcoin transactions explained

    4. Highly Unstable

    Bitcoin, unlike fiat currency, cannot be stabilized by any means possible. In fiat currency, the government through the central bank can increase interest rates to control inflation and monetary circulation, thus restructuring the economy. Bitcoin currency is, however, controlled by demand and supply dynamics. Bitcoin is often quoted as a remedy for the events around the Financial Crisis of 2008.

    Cryptocurrencies may, however, surprisingly become more volatile than cash, and are more prone to a financial crisis than cash. Many have termed Bitcoin as a bubble that can not be entrusted with the global economy, an insinuation that has attracted severe regulations, with countries like China absolutely banning the mining of Bitcoin in the country.

    Although it is impossible to permanently erase Bitcoin from the digital world, the government can put in place very strict regulations in the production and use of bitcoin as an exchange/transactional currency.

    Most governments that have deliberated on the use and circulation of cryptocurrency have categorized it as a form of taxable security, and even if it is legalized in most developed countries like the USA and Europe, it still has no foothold as a legal tender.

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    Offshoring Vs Outsourcing Labor: How To Differentiate

    offshoring and outsourcing are major dynamics in the labor market


    Globalization has turned international trade upside-down, dislocating and redefining the various aspects of production, distribution, and most catastrophically, labor. Through globalization, businesses like E-bay and Amazon realize huge sales across the world, from Africa to Asia, and Europe, while the parent company remains domiciled in the USA. 

    One child of globalization is offshoring, which is defined as the relocation of fragments of a business’s functions to foreign lands with a myriad of objectives, chiefly, cheap labor and production costs in the foreign countries.

    Before going further, one major seismic shift that takes the shape of offshoring is happening in the US, whereby companies that are primarily based in the US are relocating some of their functions, mostly manufacturing, to other parts of the world. Asia has been a widely preferred offshore destination for US businesses and others in Europe, while India and Philippines are worthy mentions.

    In the US and several other European countries, offshoring has reportedly been catapulted by too stringent rules and institutionalization of labor. 

    In the US, for instance, governments and labor unions have constantly been pushing for significant rises in the minimum wage. Furthermore, large companies have often been jeopardized by exorbitant tax obligations.

    The persistent politicization of production and labor has culminated in massive layoffs and offshoring by US companies to other countries that have less strict regulations. 

    Offshoring vs Outsourcing

    These two are significant dynamics of labor. Outsourcing refers to the delegation of labor to an external entity on a contract basis. Outsourcing differs from offshoring in that while offshoring mandates the physical relocation of some functions of the business to foreign countries, outsourcing does not necessitate any geographical relocation of labor. Well, outsourcing may also take the form of offshoring when labor is outsourced from a different country but it does not always have to be the case. 

    Moreover, while outsourcing seeks to contract the services of another company in any location, offshoring retains all functions of the business within the precincts of the parent company. It is only that more branches are created but the company remains one.

    Furthermore, even if offshoring entails physical relocation, the business may as well relocate together with its workforce, such that there is no outsourcing of labor from the foreign country.

    Mostly, companies offshoring to other countries usually shift functions with top officials in the management to oversee the functions even as they relocate geographically, while less essential and manual duties are done by laborers hired from the offshore country.

    Offshoring may also happen hand in hand with outsourcing, as the latter is part of a business strategy devoid of any geographical barriers. 

    The objectives of outsourcing are always to delegate peripheral tasks to other firms while  the business in question focuses on its primary functions. For instance, a media house may delegate printing to an external company such that the media company remains focused on its primary aim of sourcing and preparing news while other peripheral functions like printing are handled by companies that are actually specialized in those functions.

    Microeconomics of Offshoring Labor

    • Reduced labor costs 

    One of the main reasons for offshoring is to evade high labor costs in, mostly, developed countries. Economies like the USA have always been keen to protect laborers, with collective bargaining groups continuously advocating for more to the employed. These demands are no good news to the employers, who will have to shift camp to less-developed areas with lower wage standards.

    For instance, the minimum wage in the United States currently stands at $7.25 per hour. In a developing country like the Philippines, this amount is tantamount to a day’s wage. Philipinos will be delighted by a $4 minimum wage, and the company offshoring to the Philippines will have significantly reduced labor costs.

    • Lower costs of raw materials 

    Some companies will offshore to zones that are near sources of raw materials for production. Oil companies will take production near oil rigs, and will now not have to transport oil in its crude form but rather have refined oil piped to final distributors. Production costs are largely saved and other logistics costs as well.

    Mining and agriculture companies are the most common to practice offshoring to reduce raw materials. Thus, offshoring is not exclusively aimed at seeking cheaper labor but may target other objectives such as reducing transport costs and the cost of tariff-charged imported raw materials.

    • New opportunities

    Offshoring business functions is more of a business adventure to register new business opportunities. New markets may open up, partners may come by, and the business may be empowered by new talent hired. 

    Now let’s look at some of the disadvantages of offshoring on a microeconomics level:

    • Impaired coordination: A Tower of Babel

    Time zone differences, distanced geographical locations, language and cultural differences – all these surmount to a disjointed business, one that suffers the syndrome of confusion and imminent failure like the Tower of Babel. Even in the most advanced technologies, a business that is not physically together will suffer major inconveniences, as the old adage goes – out of sight out of mind.

    • Quality Control Conundrum

    Businesses operating through different branches, even within the same country, are encumbered by the conundrum of quality control. It becomes costly to monitor the different inputs and production procedures undertaken by branches overseas as compared to the procedure laid out by the parent business. 

    • Elongated Supply Chain

    Logistics is a treadmill that freaks out companies with overseas branches. As much as the production happens overseas, most of the products’ markets are domiciled in the parent country and elsewhere, and the produced commodities have to be re-imported into the parent state. Moreover, some companies will have to export raw materials from the parent country to foreign lands and then re-import the finished goods back. This is the treadmill that’s a nightmare in offshoring.

    Macroeconomics of Offshoring

    • Lost Jobs

    By driving production to a foreign land, the company is simply protesting the employment conditions of the current state. People that’ll benefit more from offshoring are those in the offshored country, as they receive jobs formerly held by those in parent countries.

    Check this article on types of unemployment for more insight on the consequences of offhsoring on the labor market.

    • Savings on Production

    Reduced costs of labor, reduced cost of raw materials and logistics, all of these result in less production and overhead costs. Companies make a lot of savings and realize increased profits.

    • Low-cost Commodities

    As the business spends more on production, the final product will cost less in the parent country. This is a delight for the consumers, who will also save more and invest in other areas.

    The debate as to whether or not off-shoring is better for the economy is well polarized. However, it is settled that offshoring is advantageous to production, and firms will always seek refuge where they are set to benefit rather than where they are forced to act in the welfare of employees.

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    Types of Unemployment (With Best Examples)

    Unemployment in its many forms

    Unemployment has become one of the most talked about socio-economic challenges in the global society. 

    The world can tell of the myriad consequences of an unemployed population. Crime rates are always expected to skyrocket, the economy suffers a blow of reduced demand for goods and services, low or absolute zero income levels drain savings and investments. 

    Generally unemployment is costly for everyone, but mostly the government, as it has to earmark a lot of resources to provide for the unemployed and at the same time finance policies and projects aimed to reduce unemployment. 

    This phenomenon has challenged the world enough for economists to turn it upside-down and come up with revelations as to the distinctions between the different forms of unemployment. However, before we look at the types of unemployment, we might want to know how unemployment forms.

    Causes of Unemployment

    1. Demand shortages – during certain periods in the economic cycle, businesses suffer from reduced demands for goods produced, forcing them to lay off sections of the workforce. This spreads out across the economy, resulting in widespread and endemic unemployment.
    2. Technology and skills shortage – Changes in technology have often transcended the current skills-level for a majority of the population. With technology available, employers will raise the bar of skills standards and demand more from employees. Many will be laid off and more will unsuccessfully hunt for jobs.
    3. New job market entries – Fresh graduates are introduced into the job market as unemployed people, that is before they finally get their hands on a job. Individuals that were formerly unemployed re-entering the job market also pose unemployment additions. These include mothers and the sick.
    4. Relocation and outsourcing – Either people may geographically  move away from their jobs, or the jobs move away from them through outsourcing. Why the latter happens is an entire topic in employment studies. 
    5. Wage and restrictions in the job market. Governments and unions impose significant pressure on employers, who have the independence to make employment choices that are critical for job seekers. Raising the minimum wage is a common initiative governments take supported by work unions. However, these are additional costs on employers and once they become unbearable unemployment will point to the upward trajectory.
    6. Voluntary exits – People will voluntarily leave the job market for their own reasons such as sickness, to pursue further studies, and to look for other jobs. This still is counted as unemployment.

    The different types of unemployment, as will be explained below, boil down from the above causes of unemployment. Let us look at them.

    Types of Unemployment (Major and Minor)

    There are as many as eight different types of unemployment, three of which are the most renowned and common in unemployment demographics.

    1. Structural Unemployment

    Structural unemployment revolves around the skills possessed by potential employees in the labour market, and the standards and availability of job opportunities available for them. 

    Structural unemployment is, therefore, a form of unemployment that results from differences in the skills possessed by the job market, and the level of skills required and the jobs available for them in that particular geographical setting. The following are some causes of structural unemployment:

    • Advanced technology that displaces human labor, and insufficient skills to apply and operate these technologies. For instance, the introduction of AI displaced laborers in the professional writing industry, deeming them unemployed. The acceptable standard of writers now would be those that decipher how to apply AI in writing.
    • Outsourcing and offshoring relocates the job from the workers, rendering them structurally unemployed. Outsourcing also means that the skills owned by the former employees could be worthless in that geographical setting upon the exit of the employer.
    • Substandard education – current curricula may not equip workers with the standard skills for the job market. Moreover, the market keeps transforming, and laborers even if employed should keep learning to keep on course with advances in skills levels.

    Structural unemployment is catastrophically long-term, and may require similar long-term solutions. Technology can not be stopped from advancing, and employees only have to upskill. Governments are responsible for most of outsourcing and offshoring, and should preserve conducive ecosystems to  maintain employers. 

    1. Cyclical Unemployment

    Over time the global economy has taken a rather wavy curve, undergoing boom and recess. During boom, the economy is significantly healthy and demand levels are high. Production volumes will also rise, requiring more employees and hence a reduced unemployment rate. 

    Conversely, economic recess imposes a contraction of the economy, sinking demand levels. The reduced production volumes will prompt employers to cut their wage bills to cloth. Cyclical unemployment leads to further fall in demand and further unemployment. 

    The scores that’ll be laid off will contract the economy further, reducing demand, and subsequently more employees will be dismissed. 

    This is what happened with global economic catastrophes like the Great Depression of 1930 and the Financial Crisis of 2008. The last resort to remedy cyclic unemployment is often to repair the economy through fiscal and monetary measures.

    1. Frictional Unemployment

    Frictional unemployment consists of unemployment during periods of transition from one job to another. 

    As part of natural unemployment, frictional unemployment is anticipated and evidenced even in the healthiest of economies. This is due to the fact that people do not have to be fired out of economic hardships in order to be frictionally unemployed. 

    Actually, some literature have described frictional unemployment as due to voluntary exits from job markets in search of greener pastures. The causes of frictional unemployment are thus as below:

    • Voluntary transitions – Individuals will resign from their current jobs in search for better opportunities. This period of transition accounts to frictional unemployment.
    • Involuntary transitions – After getting fired out of a myriad of possible reasons, the laid off employees will look for new jobs, a period which also accounts to frictional unemployment.
    • New entrants – Graduates who enter the job market and briefly conduct job hunts are also counted as unemployed.
    • Ren-entrants – These are people who were formerly unemployed but quit for other commitments such as maternity, treatment, and further studies. These people are unemployed the periods when they start once again to seek employment.

    Frictional unemployment is not a catastrophe, and is healthy for any economy. Interestingly, frictional unemployment is advantageous as individuals seek jobs where they can fully unleash their potential. In as much as it is counted as unemployment, frictional unemployment does  not really require any remedies.

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