Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 as a pandemic in March 2020, the lives of nearly 7 billion people have not been the same again. Never seen before curbs and restrictions were implemented the world over to contain the spread of the virus. We started to wear masks, practice social distancing and work from home – all of which gradually became a part of the “new normal.” The ripples caused by the pandemic were felt across industries, with some being shut temporarily and some being overwhelmed with demand, like the healthcare industry.
Challenging times for the healthcare industry
The coronavirus pandemic is arguably the biggest challenge the healthcare industry has faced in modern history. Even after 18 months, the hospitals and nursing homes in different parts of the world are stretched to their limits, as they were already short-handed making it difficult to cater to a pandemic of such magnitude. Many healthcare workers got infected while treating patients, exerting additional demands on an already strained system. According to the WHO chief, 115,000+ healthcare workers have died from COVID-19 and millions have been affected by the disease.
Temporary staffing to the rescue
Since the onset of the pandemic, several government agencies and healthcare facilities have stepped up by hiring temporary staff to help with the decreased supply of healthcare workers to ensure continuity of patient care.
Collaborating with staffing agencies
Temporary staff is generally scouted by staffing agencies. These agencies pre-screen candidates, ensuring they have the necessary skills for the vacant position. Thus, healthcare facilities have been able to find the right talent to fill the workforce gap in no time and without spending much on their recruitment drive.
Unlike full-time staff, temporary staff are available almost immediately, which is the primary requirement in these challenging times as patient care needs continue. The healthcare centers have also been processing quick approvals to fast-track hiring. Many healthcare staffing agencies have reported that several infection preventionists (IPs) for a 13-26 week assignment have been hired in no time by leading hospitals and nursing centers.
Forming flexible partnerships
A majority of healthcare providers tailored their temporary hirings to cater to specific and immediate needs to battle COVID-19. Some offered flexibility to their core staff members via a 14-day work routine (14-days of work and 14-days of quarantine). This was only possible because they hired temporary staff, which would replace the core staff during their off days. Temporary hiring also gives hospitals and nursing homes an option to extend the partnership as per the need.
Offering 24/7 care
Healthcare facilities always have the best team to provide 24/7 patient care. However, with COVID-19 taking a toll on the availability of their permanent staff, temporary healthcare staffing enabled them to fill the gap and ensure uninterrupted care at all times.
Even though vaccination against COVID-19 is underway globally, the magnitude of the people affected by the pandemic has overwhelmed the healthcare centers and staff alike. The situation demanded urgent redressal and the healthcare industry promptly responded with temporary staffing. Hiring people on a contract has its share of challenges; but, in times like these, investing in a team of experienced, qualified temporary healthcare professionals was one of the reasons why the industry was able to combat the pandemic the way it has. While hiring temporary healthcare staff worked as a prompt response to the workforce scarcity, staffing agencies played a huge role in helping hospitals and nursing homes fill the vacancies in no time. NLB Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing healthcare staffing agencies in America. We help some of the largest and most prestigious healthcare facilities in the US meet their regular and temporary staffing needs to provide around-the-clock patient care.