We Need Nurses and Nurses Need Support

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need of many to reprioritize, employee shortages have devastated innumerable industries internationally. While some have recovered, or are on a path towards doing so, the ongoing shortage of nursing home workers poses a developing crisis.

Nurse deficiencies have grown to the point that nearly 8 in 10 nursing homes fear closure. As of January 2020, 3.38 million people worked in nursing homes, an increase of 1.5% from 2011. Following the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the nursing home nurse total fell to a reported record-low of 2.95 million in September 2021, and employment has continued to decline ever since.

Between June and September 2021, eighty-six percent of American nursing homes reported heightened staffing problems. Considering their understaffing issues deficits, 99% of nursing homes grapple with them with 59% stating that staffing issues are beyond what they can handle. Nursing homes are having problems hiring as well, with 70% reporting hiring hardships.

A better work environment can reduce burnout and turnover – two major culprits of the shortage. Nurse safety should be prioritized in nursing homes, by augmenting the presence of personal protective equipment, on-site COVID testing, establishing back-up protocols, and improving communication of policy changes, so that nurses feel protected. Additionally, establishing a safe space for quiet moments at work, as well as employee counseling programs extend loving gestures that innumerable nurses seek. Lastly, remind nurses how valuable they are by throwing spontaneous celebrations, and praising employees who surpass expectations and accomplish milestones both large and small.

The shortage will not be easily alleviated, but as teams we can make improvements, and together we can cure both patients and the shortage.

The Next Nursing Home Crisis - Cincinnati / Dayton, Ohio Region

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