Our home state, California have taken steps to lessen the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, so that the healthcare system won’t be overwhelmed by new patients. Right now nurses across the country are at the frontline of this pandemic. At a time where they should have every resource at their disposal they are feeling the frustration of equipment shortages putting their health and that of their patients at risk as the coronavirus continues to spread. Nurses are having to deal with equipment shortages, understaffing, and a lack of coordination on protocols between health systems and the government. In many cases , before coronavirus, hospitals were already crowded and nearly filled to occupancy. On March 10th , the National Nurses United union called on the White House and hospital systems to ensure that nurses have enough protective equipment. A union survey found only 30% of nurses reported having enough equipment to deal with the outbreak. Right now, nurses are working extra shifts on top of their normal consecutive night shifts. There is also a fear of nurses getting sick creating understaffing a greater problem and the possibility of lost pay. These nurses are putting their lives at stake and are at the front of the line.
Why is this Important?
It’s still uncertain how much demand will swing, but medical staffing agencies such as ultraHealth and hospitals are leveraging crisis teams and disaster protocols in the meantime. If the COVID-19 outbreak grows significantly, it may worsen ongoing labor shortages. Staffing agencies and hospitals are preparing that they’ll be running at higher capacities.
Health and medical organizations are in a predicament, if they are already on the hunt for new team members, the chances of securing top talent plummet, as these skilled workers are called upon to assist in an emergency response. Indeed, some of the organization’s current team may be asked to assist elsewhere, further exacerbating the talent shortfall. And finding themselves on the frontline, hospitals may only have days to find dozens of extra workers to cope with a sudden influx of cases.
While this place on the frontline means that hospitals understandably take precedence in such a situation, supplementary health providers, who are otherwise seen as equally important, can find themselves falling down the priority list in terms of talent allocation. Skilled nursing, home health providers, assisted living and hospice facilities can all see a drain on resources that is out of their control.
The coronavirus outbreak is placing intense strain on the already-taxed healthcare industry, exacerbating the existing workforce shortage which, before the virus, was expected to reach a scarcity of 1M nurses by 2030. a A survey for nurses conducted by IntelyCare of gathered information to determine the biggest needs, and project the potential impact of the virus on the workforce. It found:
– 74% of nursing professionals are still willing to work
– 55% of nurses want to limit exposure to multiple facilities and want to know if a facility is infected
– 26% of nurses would consider reducing or stopping work to avoid infection
Health and medical organizations may not just be dealing with shortages of doctors, nurses and other skilled medical practitioners either. Health administrators bring just as valuable a skillset in emergency response situations, and demand for these professionals can therefore be just as high. So, the question is how do health and medical organizations combat the challenges of finding workers during a global disease outbreak?
During these times it’s important to have skilled staffing professionals to assist you in acquiring talent when it’s least available, but most needed. ultraHealth Agency is capable of identifying, attracting and securing top talent even when resources are scarce. We understand the current challenges of this situation and have the resources to to provide experienced when needed. This enables health and medical organizations to focus on their vital work, rather than hunting for people to do it. ultraHealth realizes the importance of having an experienced workforce during these times.