We Need More Permanent Staff

This article is reprinted from the Speak Out Now healthcare newsletter at Kaiser and Highland Hospitals in Oakland, CA.

Travel nurses play a vital role in our hospitals – they help make sure patients are cared for when facilities have higher than usual census, such as during a sudden outbreak, natural disaster, or major accident. However, this is not how travelers are used in our hospitals today.

Instead of hiring permanent staff, management likes to rely on a constant flow of travelers. This means we are never truly fully staffed – and never with benefited workers who are fully trained on hospital-specific protocols and processes. For example, some travelers aren’t even familiar with EPIC when they start working!

But the problem is not with travelers – we are grateful to have them. The problem is management, who would rather treat workers like a water faucet – on when they want staff, and off when they don’t – instead of staffing our hospitals fully at all times. Our patients deserve a workforce that is consistent and stably employed. And our coworkers deserve benefits and job security!