Pandemic-high COVID-19 hospitalizations increase use of short-term fixes in health workforce

Amid pandemic-high COVID-19 hospitalizations, health systems are using pandemic-response funds to hire travel nurses to fill gaps. This is a short-term fix, according to Sue Skillman, UW CHWS Senior Deputy Director. In a Kitsap Sun article, Skillman noted that there has been a reliance on travel staff across the healthcare industry to cover hard-to-fill staffing gaps, and there’s been “incredible” problems filling positions at the lower end of the pay scale, like nursing assistants and home care workers. Ben Stubbs, UW CHWS Research Scientist, said that, while travelers have been helpful in filling staffing gaps, a competing trend is that nursing staff and others are being recruited away from hospitals experiencing critical staffing shortages for higher paying travel jobs. Read full article here.