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Nursing Shortage

Many Hospitals across the nation are struggling with a lack of Nurses and other Medical Professionals. Here is how the Nursing shortage is affecting Hospitals in Cambria County. Officials with Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center say that there are multiple reasons behind the shortage, but overall this is a situation that can affect patient care.

Conemaugh has been running ads on Television looking to fill Nursing positions, and are even offering sign-on bonuses to get them. Conemaugh’s President and CEO Bill Caldwell says the shortage has resulted in their Nursing staff being stretched thin. He says this is resulting in burnout, which is one reason Nurses are leaving the field. The issues are also resulting in diverting patients to other hospitals, which is affecting patient care.

Caldwell says COVID-19 has pushed many people in the Medical Field into retirement. The stress and burnout is causing many Nurses to switch career paths. Travel Positions and Contract Labor are also swaying Nurses to move away into more lucrative opportunities.

The Director of Conemaugh’s School of Nursing said COVID-19 has also significantly impacted their recruiting process. She says in 2019, they hired nearly 70 Nurses from the program, but less than 40 in 2020. The Officials from Conemaugh say they are working diligently to get the positions filled to provide care for the patients in the community.

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