Nursing shortage continues to plague hospitals

In some respects, the early stages of the year 2022 seem a lot like the previous two years. This, as the old problem of too few nurses continues haunting hospitals and healthcare providers.

"We’ve had a long-standing problem with the demand for nursing being higher than our capacity to generate nurses. We’ve had long-standing issues with nursing education," said Dr. Jessica Holzer, a Univeristy of New Haven health sciences expert.

A recent survey by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses found 92% believe the COVID pandemic depleted hospital staffing. And two-thirds considered calling it a career last year.

There has been a recent expansion of duties once the domain of nurses, now being done by LPNs and other patient-care technicians, in an attempt to lessen the strain on the system.

Santa Clara County Health Department officials said, "While we currently have adequate nursing staff and are able to manage the current patient volumes, we are concerned and are actively monitoring the changing situation as COVID cases and illnesses increase."

"I think it’s worthwhile recognizing that we all have to think seriously about whether or not a need we have right now for an elective surgery needs to be met at this moment. That may need to be delayed," said Holzer.

It’s a continuation of an old reality, into the promise of a new year: Even with vaccines and testing, the effects of COVID linger on.