Sentara RMH makes progress in staffing shortages; still looking to fill spots

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 9:18 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Staffing shortages have begun to impact every area of the workforce, and medical facilities are just one piece of that.

When the pandemic struck, many nurses were met with long workdays and hostile patients. Some made the choice to leave the field.

Now, many hospitals, including Sentara RMH, are looking to fill their spots.

“We’ve made some progress since the beginning of the year, but we continue to have a large number of shortages, and still have a long ways to go to catch back up to where we’d like to be in terms of staffing,” said Troy Kurtz, Director of Human Resources for Sentara RMH.

Kurtz said the shortage is most impactful on higher patient volume days, and right now their census tends to be lower.

“There is a natural cyclical patient census that goes on that it’s typically lower than in the winter months, but when that census peaks back up, we have needs in some departments,” Kurtz said.

When the census is lower in the summers, it helps make it possible to give employees time off for summer vacations.

“Part of the challenge with scheduling this time of year, even though the patient census goes down some, you also have more vacation time that you have to offset with staffing,” he said.

Because of the hiring push, Kurtz said they’re working on many recruitment events, like one at a local vineyard. They’re also working closely with colleges, and Sentara has increased benefits for staff.

“Enhancing family-type benefits like parental leave, floating holidays. We’re also doing student loan repayment and some things that we have not historically done that have definitely made it much more attractive to come to Sentara RMH Medical Center to work,” Kurtz said.

Sentara RMH has information on their careers here.

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