9 hospitals citing staff shortages as reason for scaling back services

In recent weeks, hospitals and health systems have been forced to close units or scale back services because of staffing shortages. 

Here are nine hospitals where talent shortages are affecting services:

1. Nursing shortage forces Texas hospital to scale back labor and delivery services
A nursing shortage has forced Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine, Texas, to scale back labor and delivery services. Because of the shortage, the medical center will shut down its labor and delivery unit for four- to five-day stretches. According to the physicians, Big Bend said the unit would only be open Monday mornings to Thursday mornings until more nurses are hired.

2. Idaho hospital shuts down OR, obstetrics over staffing shortage
St. Luke's Jerome (Idaho) Medical Center temporarily shut down its operating room and obstetrics services because of a staffing shortage. St. Luke's said it is having trouble recruiting highly skilled obstetrics staff, and several candidates have turned down positions in recent months.

3. Staffing shortage closes Washington standalone ED 
St. Michael Medical Center's Bremerton, Wash., location, a standalone emergency and trauma center, is temporarily closing July 30 because of staffing shortages and has not provided a reopening date. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health operates the ED and said it is closing it "out of an abundance of caution for patient safety."

4. Oregon hospital only taking emergencies amid long-term care, nursing shortages
St. Charles Bend (Ore.) Hospital will operate only as an emergency facility through Aug. 4 because of delayed discharges and a shortage of long-term care in the region. The hospital said the influx in patients has been compounded by a nationwide nursing shortage. The health system has about 300 vacant nursing positions and is offering $10,000 sign-on bonuses for newly hired nurses.

5. 5 mental health hospitals ordered to halt admissions after 108 staff resign
The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services ordered five state-run psychiatric hospitals to halt admissions in July because of staffing and safety concerns. Department commissioner Alison Land said she closed the facilities to ensure patient safety. The five hospitals experienced 108 resignations in the past few weeks while seeing an uptick in admissions. The order affected five of the eight state-run psychiatric hospitals: Central State Hospital in Petersburg; Western State Hospital in Staunton; Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg; Piedmont Geriatric Hospital in Burkeville; and Catawba Hospital in Roanoke. The department said it plans to reopen beds incrementally as staffing improves.  

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