New survey finds that nearly every U.S. nursing home is facing a staff shortage

Staff vaccine mandate could lead to shortages, even closure for some Kansas nursing homes
Staff vaccine mandate could lead to shortages, even closure for some Kansas nursing homes
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A recent survey from The American Health Care Association found nearly 90% of nursing homes say their work-force situation has gotten worse in the last three months.

“These people really are heroes, they’re overworked and they’re underpaid,” said Rachel Monger with LeadingAge Kansas.

Providers are feeling the effects of increased staff shortages for nursing homes and longtime care facilities.

“Our staff are exhausted, they’re overworked they have to put in a lot of over time because we’re so short staffed. they’re taking care of very vulnerable people both physically and emotionally for most of their waking hours it is incredibly difficult,” said Monger.

According to the American Health Care Association, 99% of U.S nursing homes are facing a staffing shortage, and most say it’s only gotten worse in the last three months.

“We’ve seen these ever-escalating staffing wars and wage wars across the state and across industries, it has really crippled the nursing homes that we have talked to.”

Along with competitive wages, vaccine mandates are another cause of concern.

“Originally the vaccine mandate was only for nursing homes and we were really concerned that we would have people even if they didn’t want to profession they would just hop to another hospital or health care setting so with the expansion it may have not made some hospitals happy but it did help us because it makes it harder for them to hop to another setting.”

Even though the mandate has extended to other health care positions, it still remains a problem for long time care facilities.

“We are still hearing from a lot of staff that are just not willing to do it and we really won’t know until the mandate hits how much people we’re going to lose, the problem is that once we find out it will be too late.”

With no end in sight, Monger say some facilities may have to close before the situation improves.

“The longer that this staffing crisis goes on, the more it will effect the quality of care that our residents get and we are hanging on today but I cant tell you how much longer that’s going to be.”

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