The shortage of nurses is being felt everywhere mainly because of the low nurse to population ratio, and the impact continues to affect patients in remote settings. Remote areas are unfortunately more disadvantaged because of other major factors. Some of those include lesser income for nurses than their counterparts in urban areas, universities and colleges with health care programs are mostly offered outside remote areas, extreme workload and high stress levels encouraged by understaffing and demand that dissuade nurses to work in remote areas. This disadvantage has had a great impact on patients’ wellbeing, increased number of deaths and disabilities and further, overcrowded emergency departments in healthcare centers.
Workplace Safety Plan
If the pandemic has taught us all one thing, it’s that the unexpected can happen and disrupt our normalcy. The Canadian government is currently taking more active steps to bring the country to normalcy, and Ontario businesses are also making plans to bring their workers safely back to the workplace. Having a COVID-19 workplace safety plan will help safeguard your staff and customers alike.
For the past eighteen months, the demand for nursing staff in the USA and Canada has on an extravagant rise, and the demand continues. According to recent statistics from 2019 by the Canadian Nursing Association, there are 439,975 regulated nurses in Canada and according to American Nursing association about 4million nursing staff in the USA. But with all these numbers there continues to be a shortage of nurses.
The impact of COVID-19 along with the existing understaffing issues in Ontario’s long-term homes has been more than overwhelming, especially for healthcare workers. We have seen in the past year till now, the relentless and tireless sacrifice of healthcare staff working around the clock to try to accommodate for this lack and save lives, but it’s not enough. On the contrary, the need keeps arising because of the effect of the virus and now the new variants. To say the effects of the virus has been great for healthcare staff – first responders to the virus – is an understatement. The effects have contributed continuously to the understaffing issues Ontario is still facing. Healthcare workers continue to face pressure daily because of the extra workload leading to exhaustion and reduced effectiveness of the staff. The uncertainty of these issues are enormous for all healthcare institutions and has led many long-term care homes to seriously consider emergency staffing measures.
Why long-term care homes are turning to staffing agencies
Staffing of healthcare facilities can be challenging in the best of circumstances. Throw in shortages in the workforce and a pandemic to top it off, and you have yourself a very difficult working environment, to say the least. The remote areas of our province are in desperate need for healthcare help from fellow practitioners. Nursing in remote areas is undeniably demanding; however, it also offers great potential for personal and professional growth and a forever-rewarding experience. Access to healthcare is not at all fair or simple for those who reside in the most obscure corners of our province. It is in our hands to ensure adequate and equitable healthcare is available for all Canadians, rather than for just our immediate neighbours. For this to happen, the shortage in healthcare practitioners across the province must first be identified and addressed through strategic staffing models that fails not to protect from the exploitation of our front-line workers. In their desperate need, provinces are finding motivating ways to recruit and preserve the country’s most equipped healthcare personnel, including the use of incentives and staffing agencies, as they continue dealing with the unique situations that remote healthcare brings.