New York State lawmakers examine state of the healthcare workforce
ALBANY, NY (WENY)-- IN A PUBLIC HEARING Tuesday, NEW YORK STATE LAWMAKERS LOOK AT A VARIETY OF ISSUES FACING THE HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE—INCLUDING RECRUITMENT AND STAFFING SHORTAGES.
THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROJECTS A SHORTAGE OF NEARLY 40,000 NURSES BY 2030.
SOME HEALTHCARE WORKERS ARE HOPING THE LEGISLATURE WILL MAKE THIS ISSUE A PRIORITY.
“To help with healthcare, the priority is safe staffing for our nurses that’s our biggest thing to take care of our patients,” said Kelly Swan, a clinical assistant.
SWAN SAid WHETHER ITS PICKING UP SHIFTS OR BEING MANDATED OVERTIME, MANY WORKERS FEEL OVERLOADED WITH PATIENTS.
OTHER HEALTHCARE WORKERS AGREE.
“Healthcare workers are being burnt out. They are working multiple shifts, up to sixteen-hour shifts to fill in holes to take care of patients,” said Tasha Lamb, a unit clerk.
THROUGHOUT THE HEARING, SOME LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR GREATER PAY FOR NURSES TO HELP ADDRESS STAFFING SHORTAGES.
LAMB SAid a PAY INCREASE FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT.
“I think overall for healthcare workers in general there needs to be pay increases. You have healthcare workers making just a little bit over minimum wage,” she said.
LAWMAKERS ALSO TALKED ABOUT POTENTIALLY CAPPING HOSPiTAL chief executive officers or CEOS SALARIES—SOME OF WHICH CAN BE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS TO MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
“We can’t get nurses because we don’t have enough money. It's just too much money for these CEOs and CFOs to get. And they're non-for-profit institutions. I don't know any other non-for-profits that get that much money,” said Assembly Member Aileen Gunther (D-Assembly District 100).