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Staffing impacts how CCH cares for our community

Staffing impacts how CCH cares for our community

A recent article in the Gillette News Record highlighted what we see happening in our community and all across the country—many businesses are looking to hire workers. As a local business, Campbell County Health is also feeling the effects of too many job openings and not enough workers to fill them.

It is estimated that up to 38% of all workers in the United States are leaving, not returning to the job market, or moving to a different industry. But unlike some other local businesses, CCH can’t decrease the hours of operation, or limit life-saving services like emergency care at Campbell County Memorial Hospital.

There are current job openings in many parts of the organization including billing, registration, housekeeping and laundry, radiology and maintenance. The areas with the most need for workers are in clinical jobs: registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and medication aides.

All our employees are vital to the work of caring for patients, and having adequate staff directly impacts the number of patients we can safely admit to the hospital.

The nationwide shortage of nurses is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for healthcare grows. And, the Coronavirus pandemic has heightened the issue because more nurses and clinical staff are needed to treat the increase in COVID patients, and to man hospitals.

We are fortunate to have a local nursing program through Gillette College, and we are able to hire almost all the graduates from Gillette and some from Sheridan. Gillette College also teaches Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) classes, and CCH offers these classes, too.

During this current surge in COVID-19 cases, our employees have really stepped up with new and creative ways to ensure that we can take care of our community. They have been working in different departments or areas that are not their primary job to cover staff who are out or open positions. They have been working additional shifts in many areas besides nursing, like laundry and registration. We have been able to take care of patients who need to stay overnight after a surgery in the Surgery department, and keep beds available for patients who need to stay in the Medical/Surgical Unit. We have added COVID antibody infusion therapy to help patients stay out of the hospital, and have brought back drive-through testing to help slow the spread of the virus.

What can you do to help your community hospital and healthcare staff? Take precautions.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor public areas in an area of substantial or high transmission like Campbell County. Make sure indoor spaces are well ventilated. When you gather, gather outdoors and stay at least 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 if you are not already vaccinated. Vaccination is recommended for everyone age 12 and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant in the future.

CCH encourages you to talk with your health care provider about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in Campbell County, Wyoming, or for more information about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit www.cchwyo.org/c19vaccine.