BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise and so has the number of hospitalizations. The head of the Alabama Hospitals Association said more nurses and other healthcare workers are needed to help already stressed medical facilities.
Dr. Don Williamson said the recent increase of confirmed cases is creating a difficult situation. Dr. Williamson said hospital administrators this week have told him their biggest challenge in the coming days will be staffing.
“Staff in hospitals that have already been through one surge have dealt with that, and now are seeing it all over again,” Williamson said.
That means an overworked staff is dealing with long hours that are emotionally and physically draining as more people get sick and die.
“It’s just a very stress-inducing and frankly depressing situation that we are confronting and it’s made worse by the case loads going up,” Williamson said.
Getting immediate help won’t be easy. Williamson said a nursing graduation will take place at the end of August in South Alabama and UAB has a nursing commencement also set for August. A website has been created by the Hospital Association along with hospitals and nursing homes to get job applicants on the job quickly. So far about a hundred have applied.
“These are not environments that will lead the faint of heart to come and work in healthcare,” Williamson said.
Williamson said getting people to come to work in healthcare now and to keep their current healthcare workers is going to be difficult. He said it’s only the dedication of the current workers that keep many on the job meeting an increasing demand.
UAB says they do have a number of providers who are either COVID positive, quarantining or caring for sick family members. Baptist, St. Vincent’s and Grandview Medical Center said their staffing levels are adequate to treat and care for patients but they are always looking for new people.