Top 3 Factors for Consideration in Choosing a Medical Staffing Company that Understands “Care” Deeply

By lisa,

While COVID-19 keeps many people stuck at home, there are those in the healthcare industry looking for the right candidates to help them during these tough times.

1. Our Company’s Mission.

At OPA Staffing we are committed to working collaboratively to deliver the highest level of service that meets the mission and culture of our valued clients. We accomplish this by recruiting highly-qualified, expertly-trained medical professionals and placing them in the medical facilities with whom we work. We parallel our activities with our non-profit organization and sister company: The OPA RASA Foundation and strongly follow its mission which is “to leverage capitalism to Build Worth in Recovery.” Each organization is purpose-driven, as well as determined to assist in creating meaningful careers for others.

2. How you want, when you want, where you want (from PRN to Permanent Placement)

It is no surprise that we are a flexible organization, open to adjustments. One of the best things OPA Staffing does is to make sure our clients and employees are heard, valued, and cared for. An employee that is heard will put their best effort forward in all that they do. A company that cares and values you as an individual promotes an environment where people are trustworthy and feel safe. As much as we want you to live by our mission, we at OPA Staffing, along with The OPA RASA Foundation, will always lead by example.

It is not difficult to start in PRN work, move to contract work, and eventually into a direct placement role. OPA Staffing works with you every step of the way. We care about your availability, commute time, as well as your pay rate. The same goes with our clients – it is just as important to us that we take care of our client’s needs as well. Yes, you read it right, we truly want everyone to be happy.

3. By healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals

OPA Staffing knows the weight that good healthcare carries. As a healthcare provider, OPA Staffing only recruits the best medical professionals. A successful healthcare outcome means better wellness that leads to a better quality of life. These are a few of the requirements for delivering goals that are important to patients. OPA Staffing never forgets to instill this in their process of recruitment. Just like you, we are a group of healthcare professionals giving value to both employment and patient care.

OPA Staffing also believes the best way to provide healthcare services emerges when leaders and executives are actively engaged in all facets of the process. OPA Staffing seeks more than just knowledge; it also requires empathy from it’s healthcare professionals, so they can best serve their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Optimizing Your Recruiting Efforts

By lisa,

The Impending Talent Shortage

These are turbulent times for medical recruIters. As overall unemployment rates hover around 14.7% the medical industry is facing an entirely different dichotomous disruption: employee burnout and attrition among Covid-19 workers, and massive furloughs and layoffs in the outpatient and private practice sectors.

In early March, as the coronavirus began to spread, the public health sector rallied to meet the rapidly increasing need as medical employment openings more than tripled in five key states including, Georgia, according to Glassdoor’s Economic Research division. On the flip side, by early April, thousands of medical workers were laid off as elective surgeries and healthy patient check-ups dropped off, or nearly stopped. This created an increasingly complicated environment in the medical recruiting and staffing space, as facilities balanced between supporting a relentless need for more help, while others focused on retaining furloughed workers while they waited for the economy to reopen.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Vivian Greene

“The fundamentals of today’s medical industry includes using an agency, because staffing is much less expensive in real cost, as well as human factors,“ said Dr. Jason Meyer, a well-known expert in the medical staffing and recruitment industry and owner and founder of Medical Staffing Consultants Inc.

“Do the math. In-house recruiting is expensive and so are employee incentives and overtime. And then there is the added danger of people working for long hours and suffering burn-out. The quality of service suffers, safety is sacrificed, there are quality-of-life issues. This causes good employees to seek positions elsewhere,” he added. “ A staffing agency resolves many of these problems while providing flexibility in an unknown staffing environment. There is no crystal ball, but knowing that you have an agency in your corner can be a huge bonus to support existing staff and as well as keeping your clients happy.”

“As states begin opening more and more of the economy, the demand for talent is going to be back at full throttle,” added Tom Erb, another industry expert and President of Tallann Resources. 

“We are facing unprecedented times,  but that does not mean that we can’t learn from past crisis and downturns and adapt them to our current situation. There are critical activities you can be focused on today to position yourself for the rebound. It’s time to position your company to your upcoming labor needs, and to go a step further to gain a competitive advantage by upgrading your talent.”

OPA Staffing is honored to host Tom’s Free Webinar “Recruiting for the Rebound, “ scheduled for Thursday, May 28th at noon time.

Tom is one of the most highly sought-after national speakers on the subject of recruiting, presenting to a variety of industry organizations including the American Staffing Association (ASA), National Association of Personnel Services, TechServe Alliance, multiple SHRM and ASA chapters, and many others.
A variety of national and regional media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Monster.com, Columbus CEO, and multiple city business journals have interviewed Tom. He has been published in ASA’s Staffing Success magazine, and has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Staffing by HR Examiner and has significant experience working with healthcare companies including Summa Health Systems and Cleveland Clinic.

https://event.webinarjam.com/register/1/m2y4qt7

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Medical Staffing Agencies – the New Normal For Replacing Talent Lost During Covid-19

By lisa,

It’s Time to be PROACTIVE Rather than REACTIVE to Staff Your Facility

When Covid-19 reached pandemic status in early-March, it created the perfect storm tocause further upset to an already struggling healthcare system. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the need for RNs was increasing rapidly, at a rate of more than 200K  annually, because of the aging Baby Boomer population. While keeping up with the pre-Covid demand was taxing for many facilities, keeping staff in place during the pandemic became even more unmanageable.

In preparation for Covid-19, hospitals and medical centers were forced to delay or cancel the financially healthier part of their enterprise: elective and out-patient procedures and surgeries, to make room for demanding and less-lucrative COVID-19 patients. “To remain solvent, they had to lay off trained staff and very often, all or part of their talent acquisition teams” said Lisa Wilson, VP of Operations at OPA Staffing.

Specialty clinics are facing their own regimen of challenges. “Like the rest of us, healthcare providers occasionally get sick, and they need to be confident that their patients along with their teammates are being taken care of when they are unable to come to work., added Rachael Nuscher, BSN-RN who works at a dialysis clinic. “Having qualified candidates that are ready to step in when needed would alleviate the stress that healthcare workers feel when these things arise.”

As healthcare worker shortages were front and center on the national nightly news cycle, laid off healthcare employees formerly employed to support elective surgeries and preventative care procedures, received little or no coverage.

“There is a lot of noise in the healthcare community right now. Penetrating that noise during Covid-19 is the challenge for medical staffing companies. It is not business as usual,” said

Stephen E. Deason, CEO of OPA Staffing. “Now is the time that meaningful partnerships become more instrumental to navigate the challenges ahead. Drs. offices, clinics, and medical centers were forced to lay off much of their talented labor force due to the priority-shift caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Deason. “As society is reopened, there will be an increased demand for healthcare staffing. In particular, skilled talent will be needed for elective surgeries; such as hernia, cataract, knee and hip replacements, cosmetic and more.”

As elective outpatient and non-urgent admissions within healthcare systems ramp up, staffing shortages are imminent, as well as stiff competition in meeting their specific facility requirements. “A large talent pool was turned loose during Covid-19,” added Denel Sims, Director of Recruiting at OPA Staffing. “We are actively recruiting those people.

“Healthcare facilities need to plan ahead and establish a pipeline to be ready when society reopens and the uptick happens,” added Director of Staffing Operations, Chris Wiley. “That’s one way to meet the challenge of locating and hiring talented, trained, skilled healthcare workers quickly.”

Using a medical staffing company provides a pipeline of qualified workers quickly and also mitigates liabilities should the uptick not be sustainable. “We are in unchartered-territory. There is potential for a down turn,” added CEO, Deason, “and if that is the case, utilizing a medical staffing agency such as OPA Staffing, provides significant flexibility in times of uncertainty and risk.”

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Student Debt Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Care Workers

By lisa,

Loan Forgiveness for Covid-19 Responders

The program is called the Student Debt Forgiveness for Frontline Health Care Workers Act, and is focused on workers providing direct patient care in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The legislation was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to attract and support medical professionals from all specialties to help with the Pandemic.


New legislation has been introduced by Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney to eliminate graduate school student debt for healthcare workers risking their lives on the front lines.

“Medical professionals in hospitals and other medical settings are operating in extraordinarily difficult and dangerous circumstances to provide care for critically ill COVID-19 patients and protect our communities,” said Maloney in a statement. “New York City has been hit particularly hard in the pandemic, and many other areas of the country are beginning to experience surges in patients with COVID-19 symptoms, putting great stress on health care institutions and their employees. The least we can do to recognize their service is to forgive their graduate student loan debt so that they are not forced to worry about their financial wellbeing in addition to their health and the health of their families while they respond to a public health emergency.”

The legislation would provide financial relief to new graduates, as well as experienced professionals that are already in the field, including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

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OPA Staffing CEO Published in Atlanta Business Chronicle

By lisa,

CEO Stephen Deason, was just one of a handful of Leadership Trust members selected to voice his opinion in Seven Ways Leaders Can Help Troubled Employees Get Back on Track. As founder and Chief Executive Officer of The OPA RASA Group, a Social Enterprise helping people build worth in Recovery and previous CEO of GRYYT, a Socially Conscious MarTech firm, he has a history of applying a compassionate and effective management style to a diverse employee demographic. Stephen is also an active volunteer who sits on four nonprofit boards and the advisory boards of two startup technology and telecommunications firms.

See more at:

https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2020/04/08/seven-ways-leaders-can-help-troubled-employees-get-back-on-track.html

The Main Take-Away: “Make them responsible for outcomes.”

“Elevate their interest level. Our entire program is based on this philosophy — as is the leadership training program for the U.S. military. A troubled employee is generally a distracted person. Things are happening that are competing for that person’s time and interest. Elevate their interest level in the tasks at hand by making the outcomes their responsibility. You’ll often find a highly creative problem-solver underneath.” — Stephen Deason, The OPARASA Group, LLC

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Healthcare Providers Struggle with Housing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By lisa,

While the country hunkers down to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, front-line healthcare workers are being left out in the cold.

 Many traveling nurses and other healthcare providers are struggling to find temporary housing, others are being evicted on short notice, and nervous hosts are cancelling AirBnB reservations.  OPA Staffing is here to help!  We’ve formed an innovative partnership with West Home to provide temporary and flexible housing for traveling medical professionals. West Home has an inventory in both the Atlanta and Nashville market.

West Home provides temporary furnished and unfurnished housing
for medical professionals.

Atlanta units are located in five strategic locations in and around the Atlanta hospital district and are designed to support temporary and traveling medical staffers by offering 1-6 month leases.

Strategic locations for West Home furnished apartments.

Currently there are more than a dozen two-bedroom/two-bath, seven one-bedroom, and 17 studio apartments available. All of them offer around-the-clock support staff, high-speed internet, luxury towels and linens, smart televisions, keyless entries, in-unit washers and dryers, fully stocked kitchens, and more.

West Home also has unfurnished units available.

Furnished & Unfurnished

HOUSING INFO:

www.westhome.co

info@westhome.co

(917) 443-7499

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Cleaning and Disinfecting Homes and Rental Facilities

By lisa,

(Based on CDC Recommendations)

Hard (Non-Porous) Surfaces

If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here.


Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, application method and contact time, etc.


Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application.

Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Prepare a bleach solution by mixing: 5 Tbls. (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 Tsps. bleach per quart of water

Soft (Porous Surfaces)


For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
Otherwise, use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 and that are suitable for porous surfaces.

Electronic

For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.

Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.

If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry

In order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.
Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces.

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Are Staffing Firms Considered Essential Business During the COVID-19 Crisis?

By lisa,

Staffing Company Compliance to shelter-in-place directives, vary throughout jurisdictions.

Article provided by the American Staffing Association

State and local governments across the U.S. are issuing mandatory shutdown orders, “shelter-in-place” orders, and related interpretive guidance—all designed to immediately restrict the congregation and movement of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. These orders vary in substance and specific restrictions, but most exclude from the restrictions “life-sustaining” or “essential businesses” that may keep their brick-and-mortar offices open. Nonessential businesses must close their offices and may engage in remote work.

Many staffing firms provide temporary and contract workers to essential or life-sustaining businesses such as hospitals, pharmacies, warehouses, etc., and it is for this reason that Maryland has deemed staffing firms as essential businesses. Some state orders simply refer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance, issued by DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on March 19, which identifies workers who should be considered essential to critical infrastructure across many industry sectors. In many jurisdictions’ orders, staffing firms are either omitted from lists of essential businesses (e.g., Illinois) or denoted as nonessential (e.g., Pennsylvania, which denotes “employment services” as nonessential). The question therefore becomes whether staffing firms can keep their offices open in these jurisdictions.

Some orders (e.g., New York) allow businesses that supply essential businesses with essential services to remain open, and ASA believes that a strong argument can be made that staffing firms providing workers to such business provide essential services—and thus should be allowed to keep their offices open and staff them to the extent necessary to provide those services.

Other orders do not explicitly allow for companies servicing essential businesses to remain open and, as noted, either omit staffing from their lists of essential businesses or denote employment-related services as nonessential. In such states, a conservative approach would be for staffing firms providing essential services to operate remotely to the extent possible. However, ASA recognizes that some functions, such as processing payroll, can at times require a physical presence in staffing firm offices. Firms therefore might consider using skeleton crews, for minimal times in the office, to accomplish these tasks. To the extent challenged by state authorities, such firms could credibly argue that their services are necessary for essential businesses to function, and thus the firms’ offices must be allowed to function.

Regarding temporary workers assigned to essential businesses, it would be prudent for such workers to carry with them documentation—issued either by the staffing firm or by the client—establishing that they are working for an essential business. The documentation should specify the name of the client and its essential services; it can be shared by workers with state authorities as necessary.

The foregoing issues generally have not been addressed by states or localities through formal guidance or otherwise. Therefore, staffing firms should discuss their particular circumstances and jurisdictions’ orders with their legal counsel and determine how best to function efficiently while protecting their workers and servicing their clients.

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Hospital Systems Positioned to be Overwhelmed During Pandemic

By lisa,

By Imperial College London

Even the most aggressive COVID-19 strategies may not be enough to keep the hospital system from being overwhelmed during this pandemic.

Imperial College London projections from last week, while just one set of estimates among many and based largely on modeling for influenza outbreaks instead of the current facts on the ground, painted a grim picture. It found even the most aggressive mitigation strategies — general social distancing, quarantines, closing schools — would not be enough to prevent US hospitals from eventually being overwhelmed unless the country is willing to commit to these drastic measures until a vaccine becomes available.

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Are You Ready for Peak Covid-19?

By lisa,

Key Take Aways

  • Nurses are more important than ever. 
  • Nurses are primarily responsible for the implementation of        isolation practices.
  • Innovative approaches are needed when managing infections requiring isolation.
  • Adjust workload measurements to accommodate infection prevention and control procedures.
  • The classic debates (1) on transmission route and (2) on special isolation techniques may not matter in the face of insufficient clinical resources.
  • Nursing and clinical healthcare support staff are needed in sufficient numbers now more than ever. 

 The COVID-19 pandemic accelerates changes already underway in the healthcare workplace. In our present situation, the complexities of caring for patients with infectious co-morbidities have increased exponentially, and the potential impact on the job functions of clinical staff and healthcare workers has never been greater. 

That said, our US-based healthcare workers already know how to handle infectious disease. Prior to our current pandemic, the daily work of healthcare professionals has been impacted by the worldwide increase in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and Clostridium difficile.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic is stretching our healthcare system’s ability to cope. According to a recent scientific study by Kaba et al. (2017), there are at least three main impact areas:

  1. The daily work of healthcare staff has been impacted by an increased and increasing number of infections requiring isolation.
  2. Nursing care and healthcare in general has expanded to include the management of multiple infectious diseases, often overloading healthcare staff and creating backlogs.
  3. A 2017 case study in the American Journal of Infection Control suggests innovative approaches are needed when managing infections requiring isolation – including adjusting workload measurements to accommodate the increased time necessary for infection prevention and control procedures. 

Unfortunately, hospital and healthcare systems are often resistant to process or procedural change. In fact, the proverbial timeline between a discovery and the implementation of said discovery in clinical practice is 17 years.  In our current pandemic, this “science to service lag” could easily create significant healthcare challenges.

Backlogs and overloading of clinical staff is the inevitable result – raising concerns around the quality and continuity of care.

As Jackson and Lynch (1985) note, nurses are the persons primarily responsible for the implementation of isolation practices. In their study, two relevant themes for today emerged.  First, we have not settled the transmission question establishing the importance of the airborne route vs. the importance of contact with moist body substances.  And, second, we have not settled the question of whether special isolation techniques are needed for persons with diagnosed infections vs. the potential that all persons harbor potentially infectious agents.

All this said, the cumulative impact of additional infection prevention and control appears to result in trade-offs and cutting corners. Backlogs and overloading of clinical staff is the inevitable result – raising concerns around the quality and continuity of care. 

So, regardless of your approach or the stance you take on the above debates, what is clear is that having sufficient personnel in place is critical.  Your nursing and clinical healthcare support staff are needed in sufficient numbers now more than ever.  

Articles Cited:

A descriptive case study of the changing nature of nurses’ work: The impact of managing infectious diseases requiring isolation.

Kaba A., Baumann A., Kolotylo C., Akhtar-Danesh N.

(2017) American Journal of Infection Control, 45 (2), pp. 200-202.

Isolation practices: A historical perspective

Jackson M., Lynch P.

(1985) AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, 13 (1), pp. 21-31

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