LANSING, Mich. — Even hospitals are struggling with a worker shortage right now. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing has 600 open positions, three times as many as it normally does.
“Currently throughout the Sparrow Health System, we have over 900 open positions," said Sherry Pfaff-Doody, talent acquisition director for Sparrow Health System.
The norm is more like 500 open positions.
“We have administrative positions for support. We have positions that we call patient-care techs that help the nurses. We have facility positions. We have transport positions, We have lab – phlebotomy positions, surgery-techs,” Pfaff-Doody said.
There are close to 150 open nurse positions at Sparrow Hospital. Jeffrey Breslin has been a registered nurse at Sparrow Hospital for 26 years. There was a nurse shortage prior to the pandemic, he said, but the three surges of COVID-19 only made it worse.
"Taking care of patients who are that sick and a lot of them don't make it through, it takes a toll,” Breslin said.
“If you look at really each of the three surges when they ended, there’s really been an exodus of healthcare workers who are either taking their retirement or going to work in other fields just as a direct result of burnout,” Chris Mitchell, executive vice president of advocacy and public affairs for Michigan Health and Hospital Association, said.
So, what is the solution?
“There is an opportunity for the hospital, and hospitals across the board, to make the working conditions better," Breslin said. "We're represented by Michigan Nurses Association, of course, and I believe that they have put several proposals on the table to try to help encourage people to come and work at the hospital."
"We are working in partnership with [Lansing Community College] to create, grow-your-own programs. So, we are hiring entry-level positions and we are providing the training," Pfaff-Doody said. "So, you know, increasing the knowledge and giving them opportunities to advance.”
“We are deep in conversations with state and federal lawmakers about ensuring there is additional funding to help with offsetting some of those costs for hospitals,” Mitchell said.
“We need help from administration. We need them to step up and make the changes and put the incentives in place,” Breslin said.
If you’d like to learn more about the employment options at Sparrow Health System, click here.
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