Vaccination for COVID-19 has been rolling out across the nation this year. With an ambitious vaccination program in place, health care workers and other support staff are required to carry it out. This has meant that the landscape of staffing in healthcare has changed as organizations have had to adjust to the need for vaccination staff. An ongoing shortage of healthcare workers is one of the things that has made the vaccine rollout difficult, and hiring managers and recruitment companies are having to find creative solutions to vaccine staffing.
Issues including exposures to the virus and vaccination of staff members themselves are impacting staffing across the health care sector.
Strategies to Address Staffing Shortages
The healthcare industry has been dealing with staff shortages for a long time in various areas. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation in numerous ways, making it difficult to find the right staff for vaccination initiatives. Staff shortages have meant that hiring managers, recruitment companies, and other relevant people have had to consider strategies for addressing and preventing staff shortages.
The first thing the CDC says that healthcare facilities need to do is to understand their staffing needs and the minimum number of staff required for a safe working environment and safe patient care. They suggest that organizations need to be in communication with healthcare coalitions and public health partners (HCP) to identify additional healthcare personnel such as new hires, recruiting retired HCP, or using students or volunteers,
Greater Need for Outside Staffing Support
Another way in which the COVID-19 vaccine is impacting staffing in health care is the need for outside support staff. In addition to clinical staff who are providing patient care and administering the vaccine, healthcare providers also require staff such as healthcare IT workers, administration support, and others who are not working directly with patients but are instead helping behind the scenes. This helps to keep vaccine programs running more smoothly, ensuring they remain organized and that systems such as vaccination records are managed well.
While it is essential to have staff available to administer vaccines, it’s also important to have the right people providing support in other ways. Support staff is required to create the backbone of vaccination programs.
Staff Vaccination Concerns
Employers and recruiters also need to consider the issue of vaccinating staff when hiring. They need to decide whether they should require staff themselves to be vaccinated and the potential impact of their decision. The unvaccinated staff could lead to an increase in staff shortages as employees may still need to quarantine after exposure to the virus. However, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 only need to quarantine if they show symptoms. Fortunately, many healthcare workers have already had one of the approved vaccines or are prepared to have it when offered. This can ease concerns when hiring new staff for vaccination programs.
The COVID-19 vaccine has meant that there are many new openings for temporary healthcare staff. It has created unique challenges that need to be considered by hiring managers and recruiters.