Kansas psychiatric hospital implements 16-hour shifts amid staff shortage

Larned (Kan.) State Hospital, a state-run psychiatric facility, is requiring mental health technicians to work 16-hour shifts amid a severe staffing shortage, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Hospital administrators issued the mandate March 13. It came after workers were not voluntarily working after 9 p.m. despite a need for some staff to work past that time. Under the mandate, some mental health technicians who begin work at 7 a.m. must stay until 11 p.m.

The mandate is at least partially attributed to the hospital's mental health technician vacancy rate. LSH's vacancy rate is 22 percent. The community's high level of employment and the facility's rural location contribute the issue, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck told The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The publication notes KDADS facilities have grappled with staffing shortages in the past. In response, the state raised starting pay at the facility to $14.66 per hour. Staffing issues have persisted.

In the meantime, Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said in the report the situation will likely lead to employee burnout.

To read the full report in The Topeka Capital-Journal, click here.


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