Ethical Staffing During a Healthcare Crisis

11 Jan, 2024

Stat Staff Professionals’ Promise to Our Clients 

We’re currently facing one of the worst healthcare crises of our generation, and if those in the medical field are correct, it’s only going to get worst. Our hospitals, our resources, and our healthcare staff will be taxed to their limit and beyond. We are facing new challenges that are leading fluidity and innovation in practice. Due to these challenges, opportunities to help or exploit arise, and in times like these are a real test of character.

Currently, the coronavirus pandemic is increasing the demand for registered nurses in certain specialty areas, specifically medical surgical, intensive care unit (ICU), and emergency department. Conversely, the demand for operating room nurses and post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses has decreased in certain jurisdictions — such as New York State — where elective surgeries have been canceled.

In areas where both the demand for registered nurses and the level of risk associated with the work have increased, compensation demands have also increased significantly. Travel nurse compensation has increased significantly for certain specialties, with some areas seeing increases ranging from 60% to in excess of 100%. These increases have been particularly high in California, Washington State, and New York State, especially in major metropolitan areas. 

Every day, we are seeing job applicants seek much higher rates of pay in order to take assignments, particularly in areas such as New York State that have reported a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.  

At the same time, some healthcare staffing firms who see a business opportunity in the emergency are promising nurses extraordinarily high rates of pay if they will leave their current staff or contract position and take an assignment with them. In turn, these aggressive firms are demanding exceptionally high bill rates from current and prospective hospital clients. 

These crisis rates are driving up prices across the sector and making it difficult for both hospitals and other staffing firms to attract and retain talent. These crisis rates are inducing nurses to leave their current staff positions and contracts in search of higher compensation, leaving their current hospitals understaffed at a particularly challenging time.

It is in this time when we, as staffing agencies, need to support, not prey upon those in need.  

That is why Stat Staff Professionals is making a promise. A promise to hold ourselves to a high ethical standard in this trying time.

Owner and CEO, David Theobald, MS, RN, CSP, recently shared this message with our clients:

“Our organization is committed to supporting you during this incredibly challenging period. In recent days, we have seen the market for workforce staffing shift dramatically and in an unprecedented manner, particularly in areas with a high level of community transmission of the novel coronavirus. Across our country, caregivers are demanding premium pay in order to take travel assignments. Crisis staffing firms have swooped in and are charging their clients and offering their caregivers exceptionally high billing and pay rates, respectively. As a result of these rapidly changing market conditions, our current contracted rates are, in many instances, inadequate to enable us to attract and retain quality caregivers to help meet your staffing needs during the present crisis. 

In order to continue to provide you with quality caregivers in a timely manner, we may need to institute emergent and/or crisis rate tiers on a temporary basis, until the crisis subsides. Please know that this is not something we do lightly. As an organization, we remain committed to delivering quality caregivers and providing our clients with fair, transparent pricing at all times, including during the present pandemic. To that end, we pledge to you that we will not derive any additional profit from the rate increases we institute. We will pass on 100% of the increased rate to either the staffing agency partner providing the assigned caregiver or to the assigned caregiver if employed by our organization directly, deducting only the increased employer-paid taxes and mandatory insurance associated with payment of the higher wage. By not including any additional margin for our firm in the rate increase, we will help you maximize the impact of the moneys devoted to supplemental staffing and limit to the greatest extent possible the amount of the increases that must be instituted. We are committed to remaining your trusted staffing partner and to doing everything in our power to assist you in these trying times. Together, we will get through this.”

We see David’s message as our promise to all hospitals. Together, in good times and in bad, we can care for the future of healthcare. 

If you have any questions about our practices, we’re suggesting our current partners reach out to your account managers and everyone else message us here

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