Maintaining adequate healthcare staffing has always been a challenge.
Systemic problems with burnout, a workforce that’s nearing retirement age, and an unrelenting need for care have the industry scrambling. Now, with COVID-19 in the picture, healthcare organizations also have to contend with higher patient populations and more staff out sick or caring for ill family members.
It’s a serious problem, but one that the industry can face head-on. The more prepared your organization is for shortage situations, the better you’ll be positioned to keep delivering high-quality care.
Here are some pathways to consider—or preemptively implement—in preparation for possible healthcare staffing shortages.
One of the biggest drivers of the healthcare staffing shortage is a lack of qualified candidates. A 2018 survey revealed that 31% of hospitals can’t find new candidates and 24% worry about the qualifications of those they do find.
To solve this problem, identify people in your organization that could thrive in your most in-demand jobs—and then train those individuals for those positions. This strategy allows you to be familiar with the temperaments of the people you place in new roles. Because it’s done internally, you can also be sure of the quality of their training.
Internal training is historically an effective strategy for employees and organizations. Employees feel valued when presented with evidence that their employers are investing in their success. They engage more with their training and show improvement in their work performance.
Industry-wide staffing shortages cause organizations to compete for a smaller pool of candidates. There aren’t as many people coming out of traditional training programs, and off-the-street hires often need additional training. Too often, senior hires have to provide this training, further reducing staffing.
The most effective solution is to formalize the need for training with healthcare apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships bring in candidates that have completed job-related education and are ready for on-the-job training. They have the background knowledge they need to succeed, so you can confidently place them on patient floors faster.
Apprentices complete their practical training in your organization. They graduate as qualified full-time hire candidates that are already familiar with how you do things, and you don’t have to pay to find them.
Staffing shortages can make a healthcare organization feel isolated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you partner with a healthcare staffing resource like MedCerts, you can connect with qualified entry-level candidates, including many that have already completed their certifications.
MedCerts has a broad range of partnership solutions. Our internship and apprenticeship programs let you provide on-the-job training with advanced students who are ready for the workplace. There are also job placement and externship programs that connect you with MedCerts graduates who qualify for your vacant positions, plus healthcare training solutions for your internal candidates.
In healthcare, staff shortages need proactive solutions. Reactivity is too late—you need to be ready for shortages with healthcare staffing solutions that place qualified people quickly. That means:
By combining these strategies, you can anticipate and address staffing shortages as early as possible.