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Demystifying healthcare staffing: When should my hospital or facility consider temporary staffing?

Using temporary healthcare staffing is a great strategy anytime your hospital, skilled nursing facility or other healthcare facility is faced with a need that is either difficult to fill or is just short-term in nature, like a maternity leave for instance. In situations like this you can turn to healthcare staffing companies that provide temporary or travel nurses, travel therapists or techs. You can also look to Per Diem staffing agencies if the needs are very short-term.

Additionally, because of challenges to your hospital like fluctuating census and a lack of nurses resources, forecasting your staffing needs can be difficult and if you are off even a little it can have a big impact on your hospital’s financial and clinical operations. Carrying excess nursing staff when you don’t need it means you are also carrying costs that affect your hospital’s financial strength. At the same time not having enough staff can end in patient diversion and lost revenue. This is why your hospital’s staffing plan should always have a proper ratio of perm to travel staff that can fill the gaps on a temporary basis. What the mix is depends on your particular hospitals factors, like location, age of surrounding population, etc. But it is something every hospital should be at least discussing.

Temporary staffing can also be a key strategy at your hospital in situations like:

  • Maintaining staffing ratios
  • Improving patient care
  • Opening new units
  • Census spikes
  • Computer Conversions
  • ANCC Magnet Certification