After just spending 13 days in a Texas hospital (they were very good to me), it was obvious employees and staff are strained.
A few shared their concerns, but ask that I do not identify them. They were caring and concerned, but most of all, compassionate. Resource nurses and traveling nurses are there to fill in, but the pressure and stress is notable in all services…not just nursing.
“I don’t want and I am not going to have a COVID vaccination,” one woman said. “We see what is going on here. If forced, I’m going and my family supports me.”
“I had my shots just to protect my job, just in case,” said another. “I have second thoughts because my husband, sister and others begged me not to and we see more (patients) coming in every day that had the jabs but coming back with COVID.”
“They brief us regularly on the census and it is stressful,” a man told me. “I’m just not going to go through this again like last year. I took one jab and backed out on the second one. My wife and children are not going to get it. I wear the mask all day here, but after work, no way.”
Some U.S. hospitals and health care systems are experiencing fully vaccinated patients testing positive almost on a 1:2 with those unvaxed during recent weeks.
This is similar to the data from Israel and Iceland. The vaccinations seem to NOT last longer than 5 months or the variants are not being affected.
Amid intensified staffing strain fueled by the many hospitals experiencing high employee churn rates (they are leaving because of forced vaccinations) and this latest Wuhan Chinese Virus COVID-19 wave, health systems are resorting to hiring events and making on-the-spot job offers.
Robbinsdale, Minn.-based North Memorial Health, which has more than 400 jobs to fill, held a job fair Aug. 19, according to CBS Minnesota.
Open positions include registered nurses, nursing assistants, imaging techs, pharmacy techs, security and housekeeping. Some positions are eligible for a sign-on bonus, starting at $1000, according to the health system.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Aug. 19 said hospitals are strained for staffing, with at least 21 of them facing critical workforce shortages, according to WEKU, a National Public Radio-member station.
Kentucky has 96 acute care hospitals, meaning the critical staffing shortages are affecting about 20 percent of the state’s hospitals.
Steven Stack, MD, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said Aug. 19 that hospitals’ challenges, in addition to staffing, include: inability to transfer pediatric patients to children’s hospitals because beds aren’t available; inability to transfer patients to higher care levels because beds aren’t available at other facilities; needing to use crisis standards of care; and in some cases, needing to cancel elective or nonemergency procedures.
On Aug. 18, the most recent daily data available, 92,736 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized nationwide.
New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates have increased 53 percent over the last two weeks, with all 50 states and the District of Columbia seeing volume gains.
The United States is averaging 26 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 Americans as of Aug. 20.
As of Aug. 20, Vermont, the state with highest levels of vaccinated-67%- is reporting the highest 14-day jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations with a 425 percent increase.
Wisconsin is second highest reporting a 168 percent increase.
South Carolina is a close third at 161 percent increases.
Oklahoma City-based Integris Health also hosted a job fair Aug. 19, with some people receiving job offers on the spot, according to news station KOCO. Open positions are in clinics, mental health, dietary, patient services, nursing and other areas.
In Tennessee, Johnson City-based Ballad Health seeks nurses and hospital support staff amid a nursing shortage, according to news station WJHL.
Bobbie Murphy, MSN, BSN, chief nursing officer of Ballad Health’s Bristol (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center, told the station the health system has hundreds of available nursing positions.
Houston Methodist has been struggling to replace the 154 employees who refused to take the controversial experimental vaccine shots this summer.
San Antonio Baptist, a Tenet system, are kicking their recruiting efforts up as current employees decide if they want to stay after recent vaccinations to remain hired conditions were announced this month.
Texarkana, Texas-based Christus St. Michael Health System held a job fair. Aug. 18 to fill more than 50 positions in Texarkana and Atlanta, Texas, according to news station KTBS. Clinical and nonclinical roles are available.
During the week of Aug. 8, the Wyoming Medical Center reported 132 virus-related emergency department visits. A month prior, it reported just 43 visits, according to federal data.
Five Wyoming hospitals in the last four days reported a critical staffing shortage to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to federal data. Four hospitals said they anticipate a shortage within the next week.
“As the prevalence of COVID rises in the community, we have seen an increase in staff who have called out sick due to COVID illness or exposure. We are bringing in travel nurses to help with the staffing burden,” Wyoming Medical Center spokesperson Mandy Cepeda said. “However, as Wyoming’s COVID cases surge, so do cases in surrounding states and across the country, and staffing resources are in high demand everywhere.”