Holidays, Viruses, and Capacity

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Let’s face it, they just don’t mix! There are some dire projections out there including what some are calling the risk of a “tripledemic!” Just what we need, right? Cases of RSV are rising quickly in young children, filling ICU beds, in fact, most hospitalizations today are related to RSV and not COVID. Why? Because we have weakened our immunity, a result of hunkering down and limiting exposure to others. Can we get any worse news today? Yes! 

The simultaneous increase in cases of three distinct viruses comes as more professionals are leaving the health care field which could further threaten the nation’s strained health care system. Experts are predicting very high rates of both flu and RSV, with increased hospitalizations and of course COVID-19 is still around! However, there is a little good news, there is now a vaccine for RSV according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we need to encourage those at high risk to get vaccinated! 

To be clear, the health care system is grappling with a reduced labor force following the pandemic, largely related to burnout. Some 330,000 medical professionals dropped out of the labor force in 2021 and it is even more difficult to recruit and retain quality staff. It might be time to look at your center’s policies on employee health care benefits, paid time off, bonus structure, shift premiums, training and support and above all, developing a “work family.” Sure, families can be dysfunctional, including work families, however, when the chips are down, family shows up. There are tons of resources on developing a functional work family (listed below). Please, take the time to see what they have to offer. It may make work more enjoyable for your staff and of course your residents can only benefit from a happy work family! Stay the course and stay well!

For more information on the “tripledemic:”

For more information on “work families:”