PRO Conversation: Pandemic Staffing Challenges and Solutions

By lisa,

A float pool may be the answer to providing excellent care for patients and alleviating the additional pressure placed on life-critical specialty clinics during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“As a dialysis nurse, I am committed to providing excellent care and maintaining a schedule to ensure all patients receive their treatments in a timely manner.  Being on dialysis, is equivalent to a part time job, and my patients depend on maintaining a routine.  Dialysis easily takes 12+ hours out of their lives weekly.  When staffing is short, patients have to wait to begin their treatments and miss out on other planned activities.

From a provider standpoint, I start my day at 4:30 a.m. Patients begin treatment as early as 5am, and the last appointment is at 6 p.m.  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.

Having a float pool to call when a teammate takes a leave of absence, maternity leave, and/or there is an unforeseen sickness would alleviate the stress that healthcare workers feel when these things arise.  This would help current staff, who already works long hours on their feet, not to feel helpless when a teammate is unable to work.  It would build the morale of teammates knowing that our management recognizes the work we are doing, and that there is no expectation to work when sick, work longer hours, or forgo breaks to keep up with the workload in a 12-14 hour shift.”

—  Rachael Nuscher, BSN-RN

As the Covid 19 Pandemic continues to spread, OPA Staffing is ramping up to make floater pools available to support many of the speciality clinics in the Atlanta area, including dialysis, COPD. cancer, and cystic fibrosis clinics.

“Dialysis Clinics have regular clients that require time-sensitive, life-saving procedures. When these procedures are not conducted according to the prescribed schedule, patients frequently require hospitalization. We are putting credentialed teams together to float in and fill crucial medically-necessary positions. Having qualified healthcare workers available and ready to go supports our hospital systems, as well as Atlanta area chronic care facilities during the present COVID-19 pandemic.”

— Maggie Deason, MS, MBA, SLP, Director Medical Staffing at OPA Staffing

“This is our opportunity to support the community during this difficult time. OPA Staffing services are an important component of helping the medical communities on many different levels. The floater pools suggested by Rachael and Maggie help keep critical procedures on schedule and support patient outcomes and comfort. Furthermore, our supporting role will help  ensure that clinic overflow does not unnecessarily burden hospitals during the current pandemic.”

— OPA Staffing CEO, Stephen E. Deason

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