VA employees press for more hospital staff

Demonstration at VA hospital for more staffing
Demonstration at VA hospital for more staffing(Ed Pearce)
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 5:54 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Visitors to the Veterans Administration Medical Center and motorists driving by saw a sidewalk filled with placard-carrying demonstrators Friday.

They were all hospital employees and members of a government worker’s union and they were there to draw attention to what they say is a serious staffing shortage in the hospital.

The past few years have been difficult for the medical profession. A shortage of trained personnel has been building for sometime and the pandemic made things worse. The impact on the staff and patients at the VA was no exception.

“Patients aren’t able to seee their provider when they need to,” saysDr. Jeanine Packham, who works at the VA and was serving as a spokesperson for the American Federation of Government Employees, “employees are burned out, stressed out, frustrated that they cannot provide the best care.”

The result, she says, is cancelled appointments, delayed treatment, patients referred to other care in the community.

The problem isn’t unique to the VA or Reno. It’s a nationwide problem which the hospital administration noted in a statement which read in part, Recruitment of talent is a universal challenge for healthcare organizations, public and private. The VA continues to use the many recruitment, retention and relocation strategies that bring new talent to our team of professionals.”