Labor shortages continue to affect nearly every field, but the situation is particularly dire for the healthcare sector. Short-staffed nursing homes are forced to cut back on care while overworked staff members are facing burnout and exhaustion. Anybody who works in this industry might be asking — why are nursing homes still short staffed, and what can be done to solve the problem? This is an especially pressing matter, given the fact that staffing shortages can compromise the quality of care that nursing home residents receive. There are a few viable strategies that may offer solutions, including the following four.
It’s a Job Candidate’s Market
One of the biggest reasons why nursing homes continue to face staffing challenges is the shift in the dynamics of the job market. With fewer candidates seeking jobs, those who are have an advantage over employers. As a result, these candidates may be fielding multiple job offers, and they often have the ability to choose the best prospective employer. Nursing homes need to make a greater effort to stand out from other employers and establish a reputation as a great place to work.
Wages Are Still Too Low
One of the best ways to attract nursing home staff candidates is to boost the pay you’re offering for open positions. Many qualified candidates are looking for jobs but feel discouraged by the low wages that often accompany jobs in the healthcare field. You can combat this problem by raising beginning pay rates and offering better benefits to prospective new hires, too. According to the Center for American Progress, raising minimum wages can boost job growth substantially.
The Dangers of COVID Persist
Though many people have seemingly forgotten about COVID-19, few healthcare professionals have this luxury. For anybody working in a nursing home or healthcare setting, the danger of COVID is still an ever-present threat. This is a particularly important consideration for administrators who are concerned with nursing home risk management. Risk management for staff is just as important as risk management for residents. You can help attract more potential applicants by maintaining thorough preventative practices and COVID safety protocol.
Nursing Home Work Is Difficult
Nursing homes are still struggling to recruit qualified staff, and this problem illustrates an unavoidable truth: nursing home work is difficult. It’s physically difficult to assist residents all day, and it’s often emotionally difficult for staff members, too. These challenges should not be overlooked when addressing nursing home risk management or when recruiting new hires. Instead, the challenges of working in a nursing home should be rewarded and compensated fairly. Staff members deserve adequate wages and recognition for their hard work. Committing to these principles can help facilities recruit new hires more effectively.