Hospitals dealing with side effects of pandemic

Hospital struggling to fill vacancies
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - You may find yourself waiting even longer than normal for medical care in mid-Michigan in recent days, unless it’s an emergency.

That’s because of the logjam created by the pandemic. And because of hundreds of job openings at Sparrow and McLaren.

Hospitals like Sparrow and McLaren are starting to get back on their feet from COVID-19. Yet now, they’re facing worker shortages they haven’t seen before, and administrators say they desperately need help.

Hospitals are facing a lack of workers across all departments. That’s not what you want to deal with after a tough last year and a half.

John Foren is an administrator at Sparrow Health System.

“In health care of course, the pandemic has impacted things,” Foren said. “We no doubt we lost some caregivers or people who might’ve otherwise went into healthcare during the pandemic.”

Throughout all 115 Sparrow Health System locations they have more than 900 open positions, including 600 at the main hospital in Lansing. McLaren Greater Lansing hasn’t been hit as hard, but it’s still struggling with 185 openings.

It usually averages around 120.

Teresa Vicary is the Human Resources Manager for McLaren Greater Lansing.

“We are ramping up with staffing as well as we’re looking for positions particularly in the ICU, ED, and the nursing support world,” Vicay said. “I do think COVID has played some part in that.”

So has COVID-19 caused the shortage? Experts say it’s been a problem since the pandemic began.

Michigan Health and Hospital Association Senior Vice President for Advocacy Chris Mitchell said, “We’ve asked these individuals to put their lives on the line for the last 15 months and as a result of that, there has been huge amounts of burnout. And there’s been lots of individuals who have decided to leave the workforce either through early retirements or going into a different field.”

Now, hospitals are busy dealing with new issues, including patients who delayed treatment during the pandemic. It’s causing some delays in appointments, but both hospitals want you to know they are working to get you in as quickly as possible.

Foren said, “We really want to support our current caregivers and give them the support they need. That means we need to fill the job openings of people around them.”

Vicary said, “We are trying to schedule them as soon as we can. We did see a lot of people who delayed care and our census numbers are reaching what the top of our capacity is, so we do want to have all of those positions filled as soon as possible.”

One way both hospitals are trying to bring in more workers is through partnering with local schools, MSU, Lansing Community College and others to try and recruit more students to get into the industry.

Both Sparrow and McLaren are offering sign-on bonuses. To see what jobs are available use the links below.



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