New York health system issues call for clinical workers amid staffing shortage

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Upper Allegheny Health System, a two-hospital system based in Olean, N.Y., is making an appeal for staffing help at Olean General Hospital and Bradford (Pa.) Regional Medical Center.

Olean General Hospital CNO Gail Bagazzoli, BSN, RN, issued a community appeal for clinical help Oct. 27, which was shared with Becker's.

"As many of you are aware, the healthcare system in this region and across the nation is in crisis. Hospital systems are struggling with inadequate nurse staffing, the rising number of COVID-19 cases, slowing of nursing home discharges due to their COVID-19 cases and staffing requirements, and now the inability to transfer critical patients to tertiary facilities," said Ms. Bagazzoli. "As a result, the local emergency rooms and hospitals are at capacity with their staffing and struggling to accommodate the overflow of very sick patients. Our nurses are tired, and they need help."

She said she is making an appeal to all clinical personnel in the area to help for shifts as they are able at both hospitals.

"We especially need critical care trained RNs and paramedics to assist us in caring for the sickest patients in our emergency departments and ICU at OGH," Ms. Bagazzoli added.

The appeal for clinical help comes as Olean General Hospital has suspended nonemergency surgeries because of staff shortages.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled a plan in September to address staffing shortages and said the state was considering deploying National Guard members. The plan was released on the same day as the deadline for the state's vaccination mandate.

As of Oct. 27, Upper Allegheny Health System had more than 200 job jobs posted on the nonprofit's website, and officials said the majority of those postings were active, with signing bonuses of up to $10,000 for certain specialists, according to the Olean Times Herald.

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