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Dale Medical Center facing a nursing shortage

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 4:25 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

“Going back before COVID was a problem with having enough faculty to train enough nurses second I think the complexity of the health care increased in many cases takes more nurses to provide care because patients are more complicated,” said Don Williamson - President of Alabama Hospital Association.

Now COVID-19 has made this complexity even higher. Before it would 6 patients to 1 nurse, now 4 patients to 1 nurse.

While some would think this might make things easier, that’s not the case.

“You end up having to pull nurses from other places to take care of the same number of patients with a result is it creates a even further shortage in those other locations,” said Williamson.

The complexity of the patients do not help this.

“We’re seeing more patients than normal we’re seeing sicker patients than normal and we are all still struggling with that staffing and then because of the types of precautions we have to undergo during this pandemic we’re requiring more staff as well to meet those requirements and then on top of that even with our best efforts our staff get sick,” said Vernon Johnson - CEO of Dale Medical Center

Most who come down with COVID are healthcare workers. Which creates an even bigger strain on the system.

“Staff are working multiple shifts they are not taking the time off that they normally would many of these nurses have dealt with a wave of COVID already coming through their hospital and they know how complicated these patients are and they know that unfortunately despite their best efforts many would not have the outcome that you desire,” said Williamson.

Another issue for hospitals is the lack of new prospects entering the job field.

“We just can’t graduate enough nurses in the area Dale Medical Center along with the hospital association and area hospitals are working with the local colleges to see what we can do to maybe increase the number of nurses we graduate,” said Johnson.

Future nurses are also facing challenges

“Because nobody wants to take the chance of students becoming infected while learning to take care of patients,” said Williamson.

Dale Medical Center currently has close to 40 openings for different positions.

If you may be qualified for one of these positions you can on their website: www.dalemedical.org

Copyright 2020 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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