Nursing Homes and the Need for Nurses
Nursing homes are currently in dire need of nurses due to staffing shortages. Employment had increased each year for the last ten years until the pandemic caused numbers to drop. 86% of nursing homes have actually reported worsening staffing situations between June and September 2021 with seven in ten nursing homes expressing difficulty in hiring new staff.
The state of Ohio has the third highest number of nursing homes of any state, but these nursing homes have reported a greater shortage of nursing staff than any other state in 2020. The lack of staff has caused at least 78% of nursing homes to grow in concern about the possibility of closure. There are also concerns about the cost of low staff, such as residents receiving less care and staff contact each day as well as increased staff stress and turnover.
There are several reasons for the nursing staff shortage. One of them is the overall health of healthcare workers as 62% of them have experienced increased stress due to the pandemic that have resulted in increased sleep loss, headaches, and drug or alcohol use. The combination of stress and staff shortages have led many workers to quit. Unfortunately, nurses are retiring faster than replacement hiring rates. Another reason is the low vaccination rate of nurses. Only 56% of Ohio’s nursing home staff got the COVID-19 vaccine, and new vaccine mandates could cause more staff to quit.
Although providing better conditions by ensuring safety, providing employee support, and offering appreciation can reduce burnout and employee turnover, there are no simple solutions to the staffing shortage. Most nursing homes are unable to provide higher pay or increase benefits because less short-term patients are entering nursing homes and costs are increasing due to the need for more safety measures and P.P.E. However, providing more access to nursing programs and training opportunities to students and new workers could provide new avenues for recruitment.
The staffing shortage at nursing homes is a serious crisis that needs to be addressed so your loved ones can get the proper care they deserve.
Did you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts with friends...