Hospitals desperate to hire during critical staffing shortages

SPOKANE, Wash. — Hospitals are strapped thin. Healthcare workers are battling a relentless pandemic and more people are needed to keep the community safe.

Providence, Panhandle Health and Multicare all have a record number of job openings. More people retired from healthcare during the pandemic and others are burnt out. These low staffing levels couldn’t come at a worse time than with more COVID-19 and trauma patients are flooding in.

“We as a community are starting to really stress our ability to take care of folks. If we had more people, we could serve more patients,” said Gregory Repetti, the President of  Deaconess & Valley Hospitals.

Repetti says they’re seeing a record number of COVID-19 patients and that baby boomers need more medical care. The pandemic is speeding up a shortage that’s been in the works for quite some time.

“For many, many patients, for long periods of time, they are waiting in emergency departments before getting a bed in the hospitals,” said Steve Mitchell, Washington’s Medical Coordination Director.

Even when patients get a bed after hours of waiting, staff can’t treat them as fast as possible. To fill this gap, they need all different skills, talents and backgrounds to keep hospitals running. Some jobs only require an associate’s degree, and some offer on-the-job training.  Positions like housekeeping, clerical and medical positions all need to be filled.

“We need people to consider a career in serving others through healthcare. Whether it’s being a nurse or whether being a food service worker, all of those things are important as we look to the future,” Repetti said.

While hospitals are in crisis right now with staffing, hiring will help in the future. It’s also rewarding and is a profession where you can always give back.

“Healthcare has always been an opportunity for people to earn a living but also give back to their fellow man at the same time,” Repetti said.

He’s also concerned they may lose staff as the vaccine mandate rolls around, putting even more pressure to hire people as quickly as possible.

“I do have concerns that we will see some people leave our organization and may leave healthcare completely because of the governor’s mandate, so it’s a challenge for us today,” Repetti said.

There are a lot of hiring bonuses and referral payouts you can receive since the need is so great.

If you want to learn more about opportunities at the hospitals in the area, click on the links below.


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