Nevada hospitals experience staffing shortages amid pandemic

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There is a shortage of staffing inside Nevada’s hospitals, specifically when it comes to nurses. This is another reason why keeping track of our COVID-19 numbers is so important. 

Hospital staff is working overtime, and hospitals are actively recruiting more people. The concern? This is a nationwide surge, there’s a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers, and Nevada has to compete for those workers.

According to the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA), there was a shortage before the pandemic.  

While the associations daily report includes the number of people hospitalized with COVID, it only lists information by county, not by specific hospital. 

The I-Team examined the number of staffed beds. Lincoln and Churchill counties are over capacity. In Clark County, they are 81% full. Nye County sits at 88%. 

We reached out to the hospitals in Southern Nevada. They sent us statements, regarding their individual situations: 

MountainView Hospital

Demands for clinical staff is a national issue. We’re doing everything in our power to recruit new nurses and clinical staff to hospitals. In addition, we are sourcing additional nurses through external agencies. We’re pleased to report that currently our nursing ratios are within regulatory guidelines and recommendations.

Additionally, we are offering bonuses to staff in high-need areas for additional shifts worked, as well as sign-on bonuses for high-needs areas.”

MountainView Hospital spokeswoman

UMC

UMC remains well-staffed and fully prepared to continue delivering the high-quality care our community deserves. As we face new challenges as a community, many of our incredible nurses and other team members continue to work overtime to ensure the best possible outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Through their tireless work and unwavering dedication to patient care, these men and women continue to inspire our community every day.”

UMC spokesman

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

Our hospitals are constantly adjusting staffing to match both the needs and number of patients we are caring for. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made staffing adjustments as quickly as possible to provide safe and expert care for our patients. We have gone to great lengths to secure additional staff, including traveling nurses, to care for a surge in patients.”

Dignity Health spokesman

These statements indicate that staffing is an issue, but finding out which hospitals may or may not have a more severe shortage is a challenge. The NHA provides limited information, and hospitals provide brief explanations. 

We do know there is a big need for nurses, as well as lab techs to help process COVID-19 tests, which requires significant training and certification.

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