As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, the demand for healthcare workers is surging.
A Glassdoor analysis well before the outbreak was declared a pandemic, said, “Dozens of job postings for health care workers, scientists and data specialists are popping up as organizations prepare for the outbreak.”
More recently, the report’s author Daniel Zhao told public media’s Marketplace, “There is a wide mix of skills needed… [including] epidemiologists or virologists to registered nurses, down to call center or front-desk workers who are helping handle the influx of community questions.”
Here at Green Key Resources we’re experiencing an even greater increase in calls for healthcare workers, especially from nursing homes and medical centers.
“We are seeing a huge uptick in requests from our hospitals for staff to work in all different departments,” says Brett Braterman, Principal within Green Key’s healthcare division in New York City.
“The requests are ranging from registered nurses to lab technologists and medical assistants, where hospitals are preparing for a combination of increase in patients and their own staff unable to work. In addition, our nursing homes have also hit panic mode and gone on a hiring frenzy trying to cover their own staff calling out.”
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, nurses and many other healthcare professionals were in short supply. The situation now has become so critical that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Colorado Governor Jared Polis called on former and retired healthcare workers to help.
Cuomo asked that nurses and doctors contact their past employer to “reconnect” with the workforce. New York is sending letters to retired health care professionals and all schools of nursing, public health and medicine encouraging qualified health care personnel to sign up for on-call work.
Because of the nature of their job, healthcare workers are particularly at risk of contracting Covid-19. Cuomo said it’s critical to create a reserve of professionals who can fill-in for workers who may fall ill or be ordered quarantined. The Washington Post reported last week that 160 employees of a Massachusetts medical center were quarantined after coming into contact with patients who tested positive. The hospital issued a call for nurses to replace the quarantined professionals.
Nurse.org said Washington State hospitals are hiring hundreds of nurses to help with the influx of cases that have hit the state particularly hard. The report said the Seattle metro area has issued a call for travel nurses from throughout the country to replace nurses who are or will become quarantined and to conduct testing and monitor quarantined individuals.
Quoting the head of a local healthcare staffing firm, Nurse.org says pay rates for these temporary nurses is as high as $2,600 a week. “We really need travel nurses, especially public health nurses, to come work here for at least 13-weeks,” Mona Veiseh, president of the staffing agency told the publication. “These are urgently needed, with crisis pay.”
In particularly hard hit Northern California, San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued an emergency order to expedite the hiring of as many as 100 nurses and health care workers. Special, invitation-only hiring events will be scheduled with job offers made on the spot.