We have lived through some really challenging times over the past few years and now we are faced with an even bigger challenge with staffing! If you think about it, we can’t fill our beds if we don’t have staff to care for the residents. If we can’t fill our beds safely, we can’t maintain operations and can’t pay our bills. It is a horrible dilemma and honestly, there doesn’t appear to be a silver lining anywhere! In a recent news brief, it appears that hospitals are also facing the same challenges, long emergency wait times, elective surgeries being postponed, etc. An administrator at one of the acute care centers was quoted as saying “nursing homes are not staffed adequately and are refusing admissions”. This was music to my ears as it relates to liability, however, in the big scheme of things, it makes our lives that much more difficult.
So, imagine my surprise when an acute care RN with 15 years of ER experience was referred to a center to interview for a unit manager position and she never got a call back. After 3 attempts to reach someone, she interviewed with an organization outside of post-acute care. Seriously, it is no surprise, we have our key management level nurses working the floor on midnights, working double shifts, basically whatever it takes to be sure their residents are cared for.
The disconnect is that we need to do something to help these hard-working nurses, giving them a bonus is nice but that only goes so far! Maybe have a non-clinical person meet with prospective employees, ask the basic questions, complete the basic paperwork, and set up designated times for formal interviews? Think about it, how nice would it be if your DON checked their calendar (after working midnights) and had 2 interviews for RNs who have already been vetted and are likely hires! I would personally crawl back to the building to interview every one of these candidates. It is tough, talk to your centers, and be sure everyone has the resources they need to get it done! Don’t let that candidate get away, snatch them up! Stay well and stay informed!