Covid-19 leads to staffing crisis in healthcare: Miller report of October 5, 2021 • The Mendocino Voice | Mendocino County, CAThe Mendocino Voice

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Editor’s Note: Dr. William Miller, Chief of Staff at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital, writes weekly reports regarding the COVID-19 situation on the Mendocino Coast. We are happy to bring his health column to life, with details on the medical fight against the pandemic. The opinions shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of The Mendocino Voice or Adventist Health..

Even before COVID, the United States experienced a shortage of healthcare workers, including nurses, pharmacists and technicians. Rural communities have always had more difficulty in attracting health professionals, especially doctors. Now all healthcare jobs are understaffed in the United States, including housekeeping, receptionists, orderlies and other support positions.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are more than 290,000 health care vacancies across the country and that is expected to increase by another 35,000 by the end of this year. In addition, the healthcare sector is the largest and most dynamic employment sector in our economy, accounting for over 22 million jobs, or 14% of all jobs in the United States. This situation is driven by the aging of the population as baby boomers enter a stage in their life when they need more health services.

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The pandemic affects this situation in several ways. The first is that we have more patients in need of care, especially in hospitals, and that means we need more staff to provide that care. The increase in the number of COVID admissions is in turn leading to a higher demand for nursing homes and rehabilitation beds for patients who cannot return home directly from the hospital. Clinics are also seeing more patients seeking care at a time when we have a shortage of primary care providers and clinic staff.

Another effect of the pandemic is the loss of health workers who run out and choose to stop, either permanently or at least temporarily until the end of the pandemic. The American Organization of Nursing Leadership reports that 9% of all hospital nursing positions are vacant nationwide and more than a third of hospitals report this reduces the volume of services they can provide. They go to the burn out site as a major factor.

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Local health facilities in Mendocino County, from hospitals to clinics to skilled nursing facilities, are all feeling this staff shortage. For example, here on the coast, our 25-bed hospital was capped at 19 beds due to a shortage of nurses. Our clinic has lost key reception staff and medical assistants. As a result, there were extremely long wait times to switch to the phone. Our local nursing home, Sherwood Oaks, has been understaffed since the start of the pandemic and has therefore reduced the number of patients it can take from the community to 45. She is licensed for 79 beds.

Some long-term solutions include encouraging local nursing school enrollment and expanding class sizes. Adventist Health (AH) has partnered with UC Davis to deliver a family medicine residency program to Ukiah, who is now in its 3rd year and is expected to train 6 new family physicians per year. It is hoped that many of these doctors will choose to stay in our community.

In the short term, however, we now have significant needs throughout Mendocino. Below is a list of local nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals that have job openings. If you are looking for work, consider applying. Some are entry-level, which means you don’t need to have previous experience and will receive on-the-job training (indicated by an *). A website and / or phone number is provided for each so that you can get more information and know how to apply.

Hospitals

Coast AH Mendocino, Fort. Bragg: EMT, nurse’s aide *, housekeeper *, surgical technician, radiology technician, ultrasound technician, home care aide *, home care nurse, clinical laboratory scientists, phlebotomists *, manager / supervisors, coordinator access *, nurses (med-surg, ICU, OR), dietitian, physiotherapy assistant, registration clerk *, billing receptionist *, patient account representative. https://www.adventisthealth.org/mendocino-coast/about-us/current-openings/

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AH Howard Memorial, Willits: manager / supervisors, OR nurses, RNs (outpt & Inpt), LVNs, nursing assistants *, unit clerk *, nurse practitioner, tech monitor *, planner *, physiotherapist, physiotherapist assistant, speech therapist, radiology technician, radiology assistant * , computed tomography technicians, ultrasound technician, clinical laboratory scientists, laboratory assistant, phlebotomist *, pharmacy assistant, cooks, chef, nutrition assistants, executive assistant, palliative care nurse, medical social worker, access representatives to patients * and home care: LVN, RNs, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. https://careers.adventisthealth.org/

AH Ukiah Valley, Ukiah: clinical laboratory researchers, client assistants *, managers / supervisors, medical assistants *, RNs (doctor, intensive care, operating theater, L&D and outpatient), LVN, certified nursing assistants, unit clerk *, physiotherapists, speech therapist, physiotherapy assistants, radiology technicians, computed tomography technicians, surgical technicians, histology technician, pharmacists, pharmacy technician, respiratory therapists, occupational medicine nurse practitioner, food service associate, nutrition assistant, medical staff coordinator , AI Diabetes Educator, Medical Examiner *, Case Manager, and Patient Access Representatives *. https://careers.adventisthealth.org/

Clinics

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Adventist Health Mendocino Medical Cabinets (formerly North Coast Family Health Center), pi. Bragg: medical assistants *, access coordinators *, medical assistants *. https://www.adventisthealth.org/mendocino-coast/about-us/current-openings/

Anderson Valley Health Center, Boonville: IA, graduate dental assistant, medical assistant *. Contact: [email protected] – application on the website www.avhc.org

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Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic, Willits: medical assistant *. Contact: [email protected], or dial 707-459-6861.

Long Valley Health Center, Laytonville: RN or LVN, Chiropractor, Health Information Technology, Clinical Applications Specialist, General Manager, Driver *, Computer Technician, Certified Clinical Social Worker, Dentist, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Physician. Contact: [email protected], or call 707-984-6131 ex. 146 or apply online at www.longvalley.org

MCHC Health Centers: Ukiah – Primary care provider, primary care advisor, pediatric nurse practitioner, nurse practitioner or medical assistant, physician obstetrician / gynecologist, certified nurse midwife, dermatologist, registered dental assistant, patient services representative, phlebotomist, facility attendant, assistant medical *, LVN, environmental services attendant, infection preventionist, educator in perinatal services programs, patient navigator *, referral supervisor, risk management coordinator, call center agent, clinical applications specialist, clinical assistant compliance and risk management program. Willits – Doctor, dentist, medical assistant *. Lakeport – LVN supervisor. Contact: [email protected], or call 707-468-2201.

Clinics of the coast of Mendocino, Fort. Bragg: receptionists *, floating office *, nurses (RN or LVN), dentist, family nurse practitioner, primary care physician. www.mccinc.org or Facebook page.

Redwood Coast, Gualala and Point Arena Medical Department: dental hygienist, emergency care nurse, emergency care LVN, behavioral health care provider, RX recharge nurse, physician, physician assistant, family nurse practitioner. Contact: [email protected], or call 707-884-4853

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Nursing homes and specialized nursing facilities

Mountain View Assisted Living and Memory Care, Ukiah: nursing assistants *, medication technician, cooks, dietary aide, housekeeper *, resident care coordinator, director of health services. www.mountainviewal.com and clicking on Careers or call 707-462-6212.

Northbrook Health Center, Willits: dietary manager, LVN, IA qualified nursing assistants, MDS coordinator (IA or LVN), housekeeper. https://northbrooknursing.com/contact/#careers

Redwood Cove Health Center, Ukiah: LVN charge nurse, qualified nursing assistant. https://redwoodcove.com/careers/

Sherwood Oaks Health Center, Fort. Bragg: director of nursing, RN, LVN, certified nursing assistants *, room clerk *, door supervisor *, environmental technician. Contact Will Maloney, administrator, at 707-964-6333 or pick up a job application at the institution.

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Ukiah Post-acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing, Ukiah: Registered Dietitian, Certified Nursing Assistant, Dishwasher *, Nursing Assistant, Nursing Assistant *, Care Partner *, Activity Director, LVN. https://ukiahpostacute.com/contact/#careers

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Finally, a major obstacle to recruitment is the availability of local housing, especially in Fort. Bragg. If you have rental accommodation and are looking to make it available, please call the above numbers associated with facilities near the rental and let them know you have rental accommodation.

I encourage those looking for a job to seriously think about a job in the health care field. It is important to equip our health facilities with adequate staff as we fight this pandemic. We will achieve this by working together as a community.

You can access previous Miller reports by visiting www.WMillerMD.com.

The opinions shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or Adventist Health.

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