If you’re running a health care facility, you’ve probably had to deal with nursing staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, how can crisis pay rates help? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Crisis Pay?
Coronavirus created an all-hands-on-deck scenario for the healthcare system. Many hospitals needed to operate at full or even overflow capacity. This not only stretched current workers to their limit but also, resulted in staffing shortages. Crisis pay helped by attracting more nurses to open positions while compensating those already in the field. Meanwhile, for individuals, the extra pay served to cover the physical and emotional cost of working long hours in risky conditions. Although crisis pay is common in healthcare settings, many other essential businesses offered hazard pay during the pandemic too.
How Does Crisis Pay Reduce Staffing Shortages?
Crisis pay can be applied in many ways. Let’s say a hospital needs more nurses during a local COVID outbreak. They could offer an additional flat fee per hour, per shift or for certain shifts. This may entice some inactive nurses, such as retirees or stay-at-home parents, to re-enter the workforce. Similarly, facilities could increase pay and overtime rates to encourage their current staff to work longer hours. Furthermore, many hospitals recruited travel nurses with a combination of crisis pay, daily allowances and free short-term housing or housing vouchers.
How Much Should Facilities Spend?
The correct amount of crisis pay differs based on the situation, the facility, and the location. Ultimately, you’ll have to pay enough to bring in the required number of nurses without breaking the budget. Of course, this will be something of a balancing act. In most cases, facilities end up adjusting rates based on the number of people they need (or don’t need) at any given time.
What Else Can Facilities Do to Attract Additional Staff?
If your healthcare facility has limited financial resources, long-term crisis pay may prove problematic. However, keep in mind, pay is only one part of the recruiting puzzle. Of course, you need to compensate your nurses fairly. Yet, many healthcare workers are willing to look beyond the paycheck especially if your institution offers other career benefits. These may include opportunities for long-term employment, professional development programs, a supportive work environment, and/or other perks.
Can a Medical Staffing Agency Assist with Crisis Pay Policies?
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, crisis pay programs still leave you short-staffed. In these circumstances, a medical staffing agency will be able to help. These agencies have a larger recruiting reach, so they’re able to bring in temporary and travel nurses from farther away. In addition, they’re familiar with pay rates across the industry. Therefore, they can assist you with designing competitive compensation packages that also make financial sense for your organization.
Are You Struggling to Recruit Nurses During a Crisis?
BOS Medical Staffing is here for you! Our recruiters place per diem, travel, and contract healthcare staff throughout Georgia. We consistently deliver dependable, experienced nurses who are skilled, screened, fully credentialed, and ready to adapt to any environment or challenge. Learn more about all our staffing services today!