5 Solutions to Healthcare Staffing Challenges
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, industries across the country have faced staffing issues and challenges. In particular, the healthcare industry has faced unique staffing challenges. Healthcare organizations and hospitals saw the need for qualified workers to provide quality patient care as COVID-19 levels rose and hospitals grew more crowded.
Although there have been medical advances and federal legislation to address the pandemic's impact, there are ongoing challenges that healthcare organizations face. In addition to turnover, there are many additional reasons hospitals are struggling with staffing shortages that include:
- Healthcare workers moving into retirement
- Workers switching professions
- Workers exploring new opportunities in different locations
As a healthcare organization, there are contingency strategies you can implement to address job vacancies and create a positive workplace culture that works to retain employees. Let’s explore five solutions to staffing issues in healthcare.
1. Prioritize Employee Satisfaction
It’s no secret that healthcare work can be challenging. There are physical and mental health concerns that come with caring for sick individuals, especially during and in the aftermath of a global pandemic.
To help address this issue, prioritize employee satisfaction. Give your employees the resources they need to succeed by listening to their concerns and responding attentively. Remind employees to take time off for self-care and offer flexible scheduling when possible. As a company, try offering open forums where employees can address their concerns and feel heard when they need assistance.
By giving your employees the consideration and attention they need, you can work to avoid widespread burnout and potential staffing shortages. Remember to encourage healthcare workers to care for themselves and create healthy boundaries. Setting a positive tone in the workplace is a great step toward addressing staffing issues in healthcare.
2. Hire the Right People
The hiring process is instrumental in setting employees up for success. Now is the time to examine your hiring and HR processes and look for gaps or weaknesses. Even if employees have the right qualifications, this doesn’t mean they’re suited for all open positions.
Be honest and upfront about job expectations from the beginning of the hiring process. Make sure to outline daily processes, such as scheduling, routine duties, and the working environment. Consider giving potential employees a chance to visit your site so they have a better idea of how your healthcare system works. If you don’t recruit and hire properly, you may face high turnover rates and staffing shortages that can create instability in the workplace.
3. Invest in Recruiting Methods and Technology
Healthcare technology is constantly evolving to improve patient care and keep workers safe. In turn, healthcare organizations are updating their own technological capabilities as a way to innovate and enhance the care experience.
What some healthcare organizations may not consider is the opportunity for technology in medical staff recruiting. When organizations count on qualified staffing agencies, they can benefit from the digital innovations used by those agencies to find and place talented employees. Technology can come into play at every point of the hiring process, from finding the right employee to working through onboarding in a way that’s efficient and effective. A quality staffing agency will continue to innovate and use technology to help organization’s find employees that fit their culture and workplace.
4. Upgrade Training Processes
When organizations are understaffed, the need to quickly hire emerges. However, if workers are hired too fast, this can overwhelm existing employees who help train new hires.
Examine your current training processes to look for gaps and weaknesses that may not prepare workers appropriately. If your training processes don’t fully address the needs of new workers, they may be discouraged from the start. Talk to other employees about where training can improve, and mindfully incorporate their feedback where possible. Take input from your HR department to check for recurring issues or concerns from your latest hires.
Training sets the tone for how your workplace operates. By ensuring this process is comprehensive and smooth, you can work to address and combat staffing issues in healthcare.
5. Recruit Candidates from New Job Sources
There are many ways to recruit healthcare workers for your organization. If your team struggles to find qualified candidates or needs to pull from other sources, consider working with a healthcare staffing agency. At Health Carousel, we help healthcare organizations have appropriate staffing by providing various options to fill positions.
Some of our opportunities include:
- Short-Term Placement - Our staffing agency can assist in providing short term, temporary providers (such as travel nurses) who can quickly fill gaps in your workforce. Health Carousel helps with screening submittals, selecting candidates for interviews, and providing employees with continued support during their assignments. This service helps alleviate some of the onboarding and continuity of care challenges your organization may face in finding staff quickly.
- Mid-Term Placement - Our mid-term placement healthcare workers stay at assignments for several weeks or months to help support your team in providing quality care. We know that staffing ratios are paramount in the healthcare industry, so we prioritize this need to help organizations find the right fit for the job. We can help alleviate the stress of workforce planning and staffing issues in healthcare by assigning qualified employees and locum tenens providers to mid-term placement positions that work for them and your organization.
- Long-Term Placement - Health Carousel’s long-term placement workers usually stay at a position for 3 years through our PassportUSA program. These international nurses come from around the world to use their expertise to provide outstanding care. Our staffing agency ensures these professionals have the proper certifications so they can safely practice at your organization.
In addition to working with a healthcare staffing agency, there are other resources you can use to seek out the right healthcare workers. Utilizing recruiting services can help address gaps in employment and alleviate workplace stress.
About Health Carousel
Health Carousel is a leading provider of workplace staffing solutions that work to improve lives and make healthcare better for all. Our flexible staffing solutions help alleviate the pressure healthcare workers and health systems feel when searching for the right fit. We work toward designing and implementing solutions that give all patients in the U.S. the opportunity to have quality care when and where they need it.
Our solutions include travel nursing opportunities, international nursing opportunities, locum tenens work, and more. We work for healthcare employers and employees alike to make healthcare better. Contact us today if you need to address staffing issues in healthcare facilities or are looking for the next step in your healthcare career.
Why is there a staffing issue in healthcare?
Healthcare provider shortages have been a global issue for decades. COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, leading some to leave due burnout or redefine their career path. In addition, the aging population is larger than ever before. Individuals in this demographic often require more complex care, which increases the need for qualified healthcare employees.
Which healthcare professions have a shortage?
Most healthcare professions face some type of shortage, though this varies between specialties. Data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) notes that occupations such as radiologists, neurologists, pathologists, and psychiatrists are among the professions with particularly high shortages.
What are some reasons for staffing issues in healthcare?
There are many reasons organizations are facing staffing issues in healthcare. Many healthcare workers are moving into retirement or are seeking out new opportunities in their careers. In addition, the global pandemic has sped up existing staffing problems due to increased worker demand. There is also a large aging population that requires more healthcare, which has increased this need. Thankfully, there are many ways healthcare facilities can address staffing issues.