We still feel the ripple effects of the pandemic. Hospitals all across the nation are contending with critical staffing shortages, across all levels. Healthcare professionals continue to leave the workforce in droves, due to retirement, burnout and/or stress. This places facilities in a precarious situation. Many hospitals and long-term care centres have turned to per diem nursing as a solution. For the uninitiated, this is the temporary hiring of nurses “as needed.” Despite the apprehensions of some HCPs or individuals, the per diem nursing industry is only growing by the day. With all the advantages that temporary staffing provides, it is easy to see why.
Per Diem Staffing Offers Flexibility
The pandemic produced a spike in admissions that facilities were not prepared for. They did not have the manpower to handle this sudden increase in demand, which led to unfavorable nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. This meant that the remaining staff were stretched thin and overworked to exhaustion. At the same time, bringing in more full time employees would not be a sustainable solution.
When the pandemic dies down and demand returns to normal, facilities will become over employed and have to incur significant costs on redundant labor. The same will happen after a natural disaster or incident. Temporary staffing is the perfect middle ground, as it allows you to temporarily increase the number of staff on hand. In theory, this lets facilities weather the storm before returning back to normal operations.
Per Diem Staff Supplements a Facility’s Full Time HCPs
There is a perception among some that per diem staffing will supplant full-time healthcare professionals, over time. The reality could not be farther from the truth. Temporary staffing is there to assist and support the full-time HCPs who are straining under an increased workload. They can provide crucial specialized services that a facility currently lacks. They can cover for HCPs who have called off work, either on sick leave or for their paid vacations.
Later down the road, some of these temporary HCPs may end up integrating full-time with the facilities they work with, if they strike a rapport. In the long term, temporary staff will benefit both the facility and the staff themselves in equal measure.
Per Diem HCPs are Some of the Best in the Business
Temporary nurses have become more than just “cheap replacements” to full-time HCPs. Per diem, staffing is growing faster than ever. With facilities desperately in need of manpower, demand has soared during and after the pandemic. In fact, per diem rates have become competitive with even full-time HCP compensation.
This attracts extremely qualified and experienced healthcare professionals who excel in their respective fields. These HCPs also tend to be quick and adaptable as a necessity, given how many environments they have to integrate into on a daily basis.
A Look into the Future
The healthcare shortage is not projected to end anytime soon. The world at large looks to be short 5.7 million nurses by 2030 if current trends continue. Healthcare facilities need to adapt to this new environment if they want to survive. They must use every resource available to them if they want to bolster their workforce. They need to invest in nurse education, support the continued development of HCPs on their staff, and bring temporary nurses on board, to keep their workforce afloat. With the proper investment, towards the future and the present, the healthcare industry will thrive entering the next decade.