Hospital staffers facing difficult childcare decision as school year begins

VIDEO: Hospital staff must choose between working or educating children

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Huntsville Hospital is down about 200 employees due to coronavirus.

Hospital leadership is worried that number could go up significantly when school starts.

Like many in Madison County, nurses and other front-line fighters will have to pick between going to work or staying at home with their children.

The concern is with cases rising, the hospital needs to make sure there are enough staff members available to treat patients.

Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said a lot of the nurses on his staff are young mothers who will now have to decide between coming to work or teaching their children.

Spillers said the hospital can't open classes for children on campus because that would be the same as sending kids to school.

Hospital staff is looking at expanding their day care facilities for parents but as of now they will be forced to make a tough choice.

“We are getting a lot of phone calls into HR saying what am I going to do? My choice is stay home and educate my child or come to work and I got to do both,” said CEO David Spillers. “During the summer it wasn’t an issue because children weren’t needing to be educated. It was the summer they were doing other things. Now somebody must be there with them providing education it is going to create a problem with our workforce.”

New staff has been hired and trained to help ease the burden of absent workers within the hospital. Nurses are being shifted around to different floors to help with the demand of cases.

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