It is no news for our caregivers when they see a television channel or flip a newspaper and get to run across a story completely based on how burned out and stressed they are. The American Hospital Association has given it all, just like many of the warriors out there, to float message loud and clear, that as we all move into the third year of COVID-19, facing a surge in the caseload tagged with staffing shortages, the undue pressure on the health workers cannot continue to go on. The fact is that the workforce challenge that we are currently witnessing is as big as an emergency for the nation, which by the way, requires to be looked into.
Talk about the hospitals, and they are doing it all to ensure that adequate steps which are proactive are taken to help and also retain a workforce that is skilled and invaluable. To cite an example, the Mary Washington in Virginia, has partnered along with one of the community college locally, taking into account a model on clinical education which will allow the nurses who are studying to assist the current workforce, thereby looking into the pivotal demand of more nurses that need to step in.
Hospitals and health systems know this all too well, and they are taking proactive steps to assist and retain their skilled, invaluable workforce. For instance, Geisinger in Pennsylvania gives out $40000 in the form of financial support per annum to around 175 workers who are looking to start a career in nursing and thereby committing for five-years to work as inpatient nurses. In Maine, on the other hand, one of the hospital looks for support in terms of finance from the communicated based locally to cover the cost to train nurses of the future through various programs.
There are also steps taken at a federal level to build a robust future pipeline, which can help in checking the workforce shortage to a significant extent. A week ago, success was seen when the administration expedited visas for more trained healthcare personnel who are in the position to contribute to filling the gaps of workforce shortages.
The AHA, among other elements concerning this, shall-
- Keep working with Congress, as well as the current government, for expansion of residences that are medicare funded for physicians and enhance support for faculties and nursing schools.
- Look for a quick enactment that concerns the related act.
- Work with other state hospitals and associations to expand the practice law scope that will allow healthcare workers to practice their licenses as well and at the same time work towards halting insurers’ burdensome practices.
Although none of the above actions furnish an immediate solution, at least there is a way to restore the capacity of the workforce and take some burden off the shoulders of the front line force, which is in the grind every day.