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In health professionals shortage, 96% of facilities using temps

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Front Page » Healthcare » In health professionals shortage, 96% of facilities using temps

Written by on January 11, 2022

In health professionals shortage, 96% of facilities using temps

For more than a decade, growing shortages of doctors and nurses have emerged as major concerns in communities across the country. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of as many as 124,000 physicians by 2034, while the American Hospital Association estimates a need for at least 200,000 new registered nurses annually to keep abreast of escalating healthcare needs and replace retiring nurses.

Now a survey from AMN Healthcare – an agency that helps healthcare providers optimize their workforces to reduce complexity, increase efficiency and improve patient outcomes – found that 96% of hospitals and other healthcare facilities are turning to temporary allied professionals to fill gaps in their staffing.

According to the US Census Bureau, 22 million people are currently employed in healthcare and social services, making this the nation’s largest employment sector. About 60% are allied healthcare professionals, a designation that covers more than 80 job categories, from physical therapists and laboratory technicians to optometrists, pharmacists and paramedics.

AMN Healthcare’s 2021 Survey of Temporary Allied Staffing, released last month, “signals an emerging shortage of these workers,” said Robin Johnson, divisional president with AMN Healthcare. “The same pattern of labor shortages prevalent in nursing and medicine now are affecting the allied healthcare professions.”

Maureen Santangelo, president of Albion Staffing Solutions, which has offices across South Florida, says she has witnessed a sharp rise in requests for allied healthcare workers over the past year.

“We have had many physician practices and large groups reaching out for people in the last 12 months,” she said, “much more than normal.”


The majority of requests, Ms. Santangelo said, have been for Spanish-speaking medical assistants.

Nationwide, respiratory therapists are most in demand, the AMN Healthcare survey found, partially because of their role in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer. But that demand has skyrocketed with Covid-19, which frequently causes long-term respiratory problems, and it’s expected to continue to rise as Omicron peaks.

Laboratory technologists and radiologic technologists ranked second and third.

“This is a national crisis,” said Michelle Kligman, senior vice president of human resources administration for Jackson Health System, which includes Jackson Memorial Hospital at 1611 NW 12th Ave. – the major teaching facility for the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the axis of a system of satellite facilities around South Florida.

Ms. Kligman said that in addition to recurring cycles of Covid-19, the recent opening of Jackson West Medical Center, a campus situated to serve the growing communities of Doral, Westchester, Sweetwater, Hialeah and Miami Lakes, has exacerbated the need for permanent and temporary allied healthcare personnel. Respiratory therapists and medical technologists are at the top of that list.

Every time there is a peak in covid cases, she said, staffing agency rates also spike.

“Because of the cost, this is not a sustainable long-term strategy,” Ms. Kligman said. “We are trying to tackle it on different fronts, looking at short-, medium- and long-term solutions.

“We have increased our sign-on bonuses and expanded from local recruitment to regional and even international recruitment.”

For the long term, she said, Jackson is partnering with schools – colleges, universities, even high schools – to create a pipeline of graduates prepared to step in.

We ask them, ‘Do you have a program? If not, how can we help you offer one?’” Ms. Kligman said. “Because academic programs are a win for everyone.”

The AMN Healthcare survey found that “a primary reason cited for the use of temporary allied professionals is to prevent burnout of existing staff, a finding that underscores the prevalence of burnout among healthcare professionals caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Our nurses are exhausted,” Ms. Kligman said. “It’s been two years now since they’ve had any time off. Our hats go off to them. We look for ways we can alleviate some of the stress on the floor, For example, nurses usually draw blood, but if we can have a phlebotomist do it we can take that off their plate.”

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 589,000 healthcare workers quit their jobs in September 2021 alone, representing an unprecedented 35% voluntary attrition rate.

“People are re-evaluating their life choices,” Ms. Kligman said. “Some are taking a break from healthcare, and others have quit altogether.”


Labor shortages among allied healthcare professionals could have far-reaching consequences.

“The high demand for radiologic technologists, who operate X-ray, MRI and other imaging equipment, suggests that patient utilization of medical procedures and other services is rising after being temporarily depressed by the pandemic,” said Mr. Johnson of AMN Healthcare. “Without the presence of laboratory technologists, imaging technologists, and other allied professionals, the tests and data required to conduct medical procedures and treatments backlogs, and the entire process can slow to a halt.”

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Florida first lady finishes chemotherapy for breast cancer

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BOWLING GREEN, Fla. (AP) — Florida first lady Casey DeSantis has completed her final chemotherapy treatment after a breast cancer diagnosis, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.

The first lady’s diagnosis was made public in October. The governor said she finished the chemotherapy treatments Wednesday, calling it a “big milestone.”

“She’s doing well and we look forward to having good news over the ensuing weeks and months,” the Republican governor said at a news conference in Bowling Green.

Casey DeSantis, 41, has played an active role in her husband’s administration, often appearing alongside the governor at official events. The couple has three children.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Alec Baldwin sued for defamation by family of slain Marine

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The widow and two sisters of a U.S. Marine killed in Afghanistan are suing Alec Baldwin, alleging the actor exposed them to a flood of social media hatred by claiming on Instagram that one sister was an “insurrectionist” for attending former President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C., rally on Jan. 6 last year.

The sister, Roice McCollum, protested peacefully and legally; was not among those who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day and, after being interviewed by the FBI, “was never detained, arrested, accused of or charged with any crime,” according to the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne.

The lawsuit comes as Baldwin is immersed in an ongoing investigation into the death of a cinematographer and the wounding of a director last fall after a prop gun the actor was holding on a movie set went off.

Last year, Baldwin sent McCollum a $5,000 check to help the widow of her brother Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum of Jackson, who was among 13 U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing Aug. 26 at the Kabul airport, according to the lawsuit.

On Jan. 3 of this year, the lawsuit says, the actor privately messaged Roice McCollum on Instagram soon after she posted an almost year-old photo of the Trump rally, asking if she was the same woman who’d taken his donation. The suit says McCollum confirmed she was at the protest and told Baldwin, “Protesting is perfectly legal.”

The suit says Baldwin responded by remarking that “her activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of government property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on the certification of the presidential election,” and told McCollum that he’d reposted the photo to his 2.4 million Instagram followers.

“Good luck,” Baldwin wrote, according to the lawsuit.

“Baldwin plainly ignored Roice’s denial of rioting and the assertion that she was cleared by the FBI for participating in any of the conduct Baldwin chose to falsely attribute to her via his massive following,” the lawsuit reads.

Representatives for Baldwin didn’t immediately return email and phone messages Wednesday. FBI officials in Denver didn’t return email messages Wednesday asking if the lawsuit’s assertions about Roice McCollum are true. Federal court records reviewed by The Associated Press did not show any criminal charges against her.

After Baldwin shared the photo of the Jan. 6 protest on social media, Roice McCollum got “hundreds upon hundreds of hateful messages,” including one telling her to “get raped and die” and that her brother “got what he deserved,” according to the lawsuit.

In a post under his Instagram account, #alecbaldwininsta, Baldwin called that message “abhorrent,” and told Roice McCollum, “There are hateful things posted toward you that are wrong,” according to computer screenshots filed in the case.

The lawsuit says Baldwin didn’t do anything to remedy the situation, however. And by sharing the photo, he “lit the match and blew on the fire,” resulting in the hateful messages and death threats not only against Roice McCollum but also against Rylee McCollum’s other sister, Cheyenne McCollum, and widow, Jiennah McCollum, it says.

The lawsuit, first reported by the Casper Star-Tribune, alleges invasion of privacy, defamation, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks $25 million in damages.

Jiennah McCollum gave birth to her late husband’s daughter in September. Online fundraisers have raised around $1 million for the widow and child.

On Friday, Baldwin surrendered his cellphone to authorities investigating a fatal shooting on a film set in New Mexico last fall. Baldwin’s prop revolver discharged a live round during a rehearsal, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, according to authorities.

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Driver transported after crashing into fence in Pembroke Pines

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PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – A woman has been transported to the hospital after crashing her vehicle into a fence in Pembroke Pines.

7SkyForce hovered over the scene where rescue crews could be seen carrying the woman away from the side of the road on a stretcher.

The crash happened along the westbound lanes of Pines Boulevard near 68th Avenue, early Thursday morning.

The vehicle the woman was driving crashed into a nearby neighbor’s yard. There was apparently another vehicle involved in the crash.

The victim’s condition remains unknown but police said initial reports showed her injuries were not serious.

7News spoke with homeowner Ismail Samara, whose fence was destroyed. He said his son woke him up after hearing a loud crashing sound at around 5:45 a.m.

“It was like a really loud ‘Boom,’ like you know when you hear lightning strike?” said the homeowner’s son, Yousef Samara. “It was louder than that.”

At around 6 a.m., his neighbor then called to see if he knew about the damage to his fence.

“He told me, ‘You don’t have any fence,’” said Ismail.

“From my understanding, I think the car that hit my house, she hit that black car then she ran into my fence and my neighbor’s fence and she damaged both of them,” he said. “Luckily nothing [else] happened because the concrete stopped her from going further.”

Ismail said he was shocked but thankful his house wasn’t hit.

“It’s amazing. People driving fast on this street and we always hear it when we’re inside. They go over 60 miles [per hour] and sometimes they race on this street,” he said.

Now, he’s left to pick up the mess left behind.

“I have kids and I cannot leave the house like this,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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