Best Contract Staffing Agencies for Nurses: Preparing for Covid-19

Health care staffing firms are seeing a dramatic rise in demand as health care facilities like nursing homes and hospitals across the United States seek registered nursing professionals to help treat Corona Virus Disease-19 or CoViD-19 patients. According to some of the biggest nurse staffing agencies, the requests for registered nurses in populated cities in the country like New York increase by at least 1,000% last month alone. 

They said that firms had filled more or less 2,000 crisis jobs that are related to the pandemic. The United States has more than half a million known Corona Virus Disease cases, with major outbreaks in Seattle, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans and the epicenter of the disease in the country, New York City. 

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This is according to studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University. The data from Johns Hopkins University matches the information shared by staffing agencies, which both say they have seen a dramatic increase in demand for Progressive Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Room and Medical-Surgical nurses, as well as respiratory therapists. 

Experts said that it had seen the most demand in Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, Illinois, California, Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. But even as health care facilities face a growing number of infected patients, staffing agencies also said they have seen more nursing home amenities asking for help. Assisted living and nursing home facilities are of particular concern with this pandemic since older people and patients with chronic conditions are considered at the highest risk.

Nursing home facilities

In Seattle, for instance, one of the first outbreaks happened in a nursing home facility, resulting in a staggering 35 deaths. Since then, other amenities all over the United States have reported new cases, with authorities reporting that at least 200 nursing homes all over 27 states in the country had active Corona Virus Disease-19 cases. In a sense, these facilities are ground zero for this disease. 

Patients from nursing homes are at the most risk compared to other people in the country. Every facility needs to train preventive measures to help decrease the spread of the virus. A lot of service providers had seen demand for their services start picking up as early as February or March. 

Since then, companies have increased the number of recruiters by at least 50%, as their clients have asked for more medical professional help. Nurse staffing companies are interested in increasing their workforce faster than before because of the necessity to cover as many facilities as possible.

Training the professionals

Companies have rolled out training courses for their staff to keep them up-to-date with how to minimize transmission, best practices to control the infection and what kinds of protective equipment are needed in various situations. It is also making the training course free for people who want to use it. 

One of the challenges is that nursing homes and skilled facilities have limited resources. For instance, they do not have negative air pressured rooms that can be used by healthcare amenities for infection control. It means a different isolation precaution process needs to be used in these facilities who are taking care of Corona Virus Disease-19 patients. 

Shortages in nurse staffing can also be a big hurdle, with facilities already operating with fewer nurses. Their staff is stretched even further if some of them are exposed to the virus and needs to self-isolate. The demand for more nurses increases once health care amenities reported their first case of CoViD-19, especially smaller nursing homes. If a staff tested positive for CoViD-19, they need to put that staff on a 14-day quarantine, and they will be staff down for the next 2 weeks.

Minimizing transmission

To help minimize virus transmission, experts suggest that company nurses need to work at a limited number of amenities instead of travelling between different ones. Staffing companies can also ask their clients regularly if they have any confirmed or active Corona Virus Disease cases in their hospitals or nursing homes. Medical professionals are pre-screened before they show up in their workplace. 

They also self-monitor their temperature and check it at least twice-a-day. We are starting to see health care facilities like hospitals and nursing homes have outbreaks of Corona Virus Disease-19. Nurse staffing agencies want to make sure that these facilities do not continue the spread of the disease to other facilities. 

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We have a lot of time. Local public health agencies have not been testing medical professionals, especially nurses. The government has almost restricted swab tests to individuals with symptoms and people who have direct contact with a patient for multiple days. 

With the increase in testing kits and the facilities’ capacity to do five-minute tests, a lot of nurse staffing agencies are very hopeful that more medical professionals can also receive testing soon. It is pretty exciting to hear news about new tests. And because of technology, the results can come back a lot quicker. It should help us identify people that can or can’t work.