As predicted the winter months combined with holiday travel have ushered in a surge of COVID-19 cases. On December 27, the country recorded its fourth-highest number of hospitalizations with more than 118,720 COVID-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The fallout from the surge in many parts of the country finds hospitals struggling to keep up with not only COVID patients but also with the treatment of non-COVID patients as a result of staff shortages. Medical staffing firms are being called upon to provide hospitals with the additional doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, X-ray technicians and other healthcare providers needed to treat patients.
Traveling nurses in fact are in high demand with many hospitals increasing their weekly wages significantly to beef up their staff with trained individuals who can help care for COVID-19 patients and step in to assist hospital staff who are sick themselves or exhausted. Early in the pandemic, doctors and nurses traveled from unaffected areas to hot spots like California, Washington state and New York to help with regional surges. But now, with virtually every part of the country experiencing a surge — infecting medical professionals in the process — the demand for the finite number of available nurses is becoming more intense.
This has resulted in a boon for healthcare staffing agencies to help augment staffing in hospitals across the country. According to a recent article in Kaiser Health News, in 2018, there were about 31,000 traveling nurses worked nationwide. Now, there are at least 50,000 traveling nurses. Many of these nurses it’s believed are postoperative nurses who were laid off when hospitals stopped doing elective surgeries during the first COVID lockdowns. A California staffing firm, for example, has filled more than 13,000 positions during the pandemic. Another firm in New York has grown its administrative staff from 12 to more than 200 since the pandemic began to handle its requests.
These traveling nurses and other healthcare workers along with their colleagues at hospitals across the U.S. are on the frontline day-in, day-out, and are the superheroes in the fight against the pandemic. Manchester Specialty Programs provides medical staffing firms with a comprehensive insurance program to protect them in the event of liability claims, property damage, injuries or accidents. Our suite of products includes Professional Liability, Workers’ Compensation, General Liability/Package Policy, Excess Liability, Non-Owned & Hired Auto, Crime, Employment Practices Liability, Cyber Liability and insurance coverage for telehealth services. For more information about our products, please contact us at 855.972.9399.