Swamped US hospitals scramble nurses for pandemic help

Swamped US hospitals scramble nurses for pandemic help
Source: AP
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Hospitals across the US slammed with COVID-19 patients and are trying to lure doctors and nurses out of retirement, recruiting new graduates and students who have yet to earn their licenses and offering eye-popping salaries in a desperate action to ease staffing shortages.

With the Covid-19 surging from coast to coast, the number of patients in the hospital has more than doubled over the past month to a record high of nearly 100,000, pushing health care workers and medical centers to the breaking point. Nurses are increasingly burned out and getting sick on the job, and the stress on the country’s medical system prompted a dire warning from the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Robert Redfield said: “The reality is December, January, February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they are going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”

Governors in hard-hit states like Nebraska and Wisconsin are making it easier for retired nurses to come back, including by waiving licensing fees and requirements, though it can be a tough sell for nurses who are older, who would be in more danger than many of their colleagues if they contracted Covid-19.

McMillan said, some are taking jobs that do not involve working directly with patients to free up front-line nurses.

The state of Iowa is allowing emergency and temporary licenses for new nurses who have met the state’s educational requirements but have not yet taken the state licensing exam. Some hospitals in Minnesota are offering winter internships to nursing students to boost their staffs in hospitals and care centers. The internships are typically offered in the summer but were canceled this year because of COVID-19.

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