Hospitals in San Diego are going through workers shortages, journey nurses are in excessive demand – NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego hospital leaders report facing staff shortages and having to import talent from across the country to maintain staff-to-patient relationships.

While the COVID-19 case rate in San Diego is falling, hospital leaders here still report struggling to keep the staff they need to run their hospitals.

“We’re running out of fewer beds for patients and more likely to run out of staff to care for these patients, and that’s really the challenge,” said Dr. Christopher Longhurst from UCSD Health. “Many health systems have to pay exorbitant prices to import talent from outside the state, and we’ve even heard of some nurses leaving the state to go to places like Texas and Florida that pay very high prices for temporary assistance and so all of this affects our ability to care for patients. “

UCSD Health uses Aya Healthcare, a travel nurse recruitment agency, to recruit healthcare professionals to fill their vacancies. Sophia Morris, Vice President of Account Management at Aya Healthcare, says that between hospital staff infected with Covid to workers who quit the industry entirely because of burnout, her agency has the highest demand it has ever seen in its 20 years Have experienced business.

“It could also be because of the vaccine mandates at this point. We are definitely seeing an increase in the areas as hospitals assume they could lose staff due to the vaccine mandates,” said Morris.

Morris said they are currently looking to fill 44,000 vacancies in health systems across the country. She says some hospitals are paying three times what they were before the pandemic because of their scarcity.

Tiffany Dixon quit her 8-year full-time job as an intensive care nurse in Pittsburgh to take on a 6-week contract in Fresno, California through Aya Healthcare. She says she was nervous about quitting her job and moving across the country because she had no idea how long she would be needed. She now has her second contract with UCSD Health in San Diego and says she makes twice as much money as she does in Pittsburgh.

“It wasn’t the money that got me here, I wanted to help people in need,” said Dixon.

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