Hospitals are hiring contract nurses and traveling nurses to keep up with patients.
ODESSA, Texas — Local hospitals are working to keep up with the high demand of patients and it hasn’t been easy.
“We are in a staffing crisis as we face another surge of Covid infections,” said Trevor Tankersley, Head of PR at MCH.
In times like these they need to call in some extra help.
“We have 57 contract nurses in our facility right now,” said Kit Bredimus, Chief Nursing Officer for MMH.
Contract nurses and traveling nurses are registered nurses who come and help out when hospitals need it, but the problem is they are needed everywhere else too.
“When travel nurse requests are up about 400 percent, or 4 to 1, you’re obviously going to get less and less from what you request because everybody else needs those nurses too,,” said Tankersley.
These nurses are also more expensive, meaning hospital budgets can take a hit.
“These nurses will be paid two to three times then what we paid for a full-time staff equivalent,” said Bredimus.
But when there’s too many patients and not enough nurses, hospitals don’t really have a choice, and it’s every hospital for itself.
“It is up to each individual hospital to compete for these resources, ultimately were all working to fill our spots. Every single hospital across the state right now is suffering from a shortage,” said Bredimus.’
Hospitals aren’t being helped by FEMA or the state and are expected to find these nurses and pay for them themselves, or use city or county American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The agencies that are supplying these nurses are also seeing demands
“We are seeing the needs and so we are continuously hiring more nurses,” said Sonia Ramirez, HR Director for Reliable Nursing Services.
Until hospitals and cases calm down, they will continue to need the extra help.