4 Practical Ways To Manage the Healthcare Staffing Crisis

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4 Practical Ways To Manage the Healthcare Staffing Crisis
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Last Updated on May 24, 2022 by Randy Withers, LCMHC

Although there is some indication that the curve of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is beginning to flatten in some of the nation’s worst-hit areas, we are still a long way from declaring the pandemic over.

We’re even further away from being able to resume normal operations in critical sectors of the economy, particularly healthcare facilities, which are not only on the front lines of the crisis but also struggling from revenue losses related to operations.

Healthcare Staffing Crisis image
Courtesy, Pixabay

4 Ways To Manage A Healthcare Staffing Crisis

The healthcare sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries in the last two years, not because of a lack of jobs but because of a lack of healthcare personnel required to attend to the needs of patients. Nurses, CNA’s, medical technicians, and even physicians are a scarce resource and all are in high demand.

Below are some tips to help you overcome the healthcare staffing crisis:

1. Hire temporary employees

Hiring through a locum tenens staffing agency relieves managers of much of the heavy workload. It’s an excellent way to fill in for a few shifts or temp-to-hire scenarios.

In addition, these companies can better address staffing problems by giving background-checked and thoroughly reviewed professionals rather than implementing a lengthy and time-consuming application process for permanent employees.

Do your research and ensure you choose a partner company with an impeccable reputation.

2. Offer more hours and incentives to current employees.

This is possibly the most straightforward and quickest solution to healthcare staffing crisis. Companies have employees already familiar with the job and may be willing to work extra hours. This can save you the time and trouble of recruiting and training new employees.

But, of course, you should not force those who do not want to work longer hours and adequately compensate those who do. You can also offer more incentives to fire up the employee’s motivation.

3. Create a healthy working environment

Two factors influence working conditions. The first one is the actual job. Managers are powerless to change a job’s responsibilities or nature.

However, the other factor is entirely within the team’s control: how the employees are treated and managed.

As a result, people remain loyal to managers who treat them well. This includes everything from commending them for their efforts to ensuring that patients also treat these frontline staff with respect.

4. Establish community linkages

Community ties can help to address the healthcare worker shortage. Healthcare organizations and allied healthcare facilities can collaborate to avoid patient surges and capacity constraints.

Furthermore, clear communication lines with care homes assisted living foster homes, and other congregate living amenities can improve care quality. During a public health crisis, vulnerable people in care facilities receive better care and are fully protected from diseases that require urgent or critical care in hospitals.

Creating meaningful community linkages can solve long-term workforce shortages.

Final thoughts

The global pandemic has indeed been a difficult time for everyone. But for healthcare workers, who have been on the front lines for more than two years, the challenge has been overwhelming.

Yet, despite all the hardship, healthcare workers keep risking their lives every day to perform their duties. They are heroes. They deserve our respect and they deserve our support.

By hiring temporary employees, creating a healthy working environment, offering more incentives, and forming community linkages, you can help relieve the stress that understaffing brings them.

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Randy Withers, LCMHC

Randy Withers, LCMHC is a Board-Certified and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor at a private practice in North Carolina where he specializes in co-occurring disorders. He has masters degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lenoir-Rhyne University and Education from Florida State University, and is the managing editor of Blunt Therapy. He writes about mental health, therapy, and addictions. In his spare time, you can find him watching reruns of Star Trek: TNG with his dog. Connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also see what he writes about on Medium.

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