Leadership | 08.31.21
Hospitals Struggle With Staff Shortages in Coronavirus Hot Spots
Finding enough workers to care for people sick with COVID-19 has emerged as a critical problem in the second pandemic summer, according to hospital executives and nursing administrators in several states. The struggle is an issue largely across the South. The main problem is finding and keeping nurses, but some hospitals also are short on respiratory therapists and workers for nutritional services. More nurses would enable hospitals to enlarge their bed capacity. Hiring through national travel nursing companies "has been helpful, but it's extremely competitive," says Chris Barber, president and CEO of St. Bernard’s Healthcare in Arkansas and board chair of the Arkansas Hospital Association. Arkansas and Texas have reactivated programs to help hospitals find staffers, with reimbursements from federal coronavirus relief laws.