UMaine preparing nursing students for emergency staffing needs

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 3:48 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - If trends persist, Maine hospitals could be faced with a staffing shortage in the coming weeks.

Surging cases of coronavirus coupled with October’s vaccine mandate for health care workers could see staffs spread thin.

A spokesperson for the University of Maine says that system wide they are preparing nursing students to provide support should the need arise.

Northern Light Health’s Dr. James Jarvis says while their focus is on getting their remaining unvaccinated staff vaccinated, they have called on college students in the past.

”I think those are things that we have to consider along with other measures that are being discussed across the state as to how to augment our workforce, not just because of the issue around vaccination, but simply because of the sheer workload and volumes that we’re seeing right now, as you know traditionally the state of Maine has an issue with nursing shortages, and workforce shortages across healthcare,” Jarvis said.

As of this week, Northern Light said 91.3% of their roughly 12,000 employees were vaccinated.

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