Our national vaccination campaign is proving to be more complex than expected. Even though two vaccines have been approved (and more are in the works), the US rollout has been delayed by ‘last mile’ problems ranging from storage constraints and a lack of vaccination materials to patient scheduling issues and vaccine apprehension. Another problem, according to experts, is vaccination staffing.

That is, making enough qualified nursing staff available in the United States to administer shots to personnel.

Staffing and arranging for large-scale events For hospitals and health systems are less predictable and more challenging. This is why:

Ongoing Healthcare Worker Shortages

Long-standing healthcare staff shortages and inequities in the United States have been exacerbated by the pandemic. For years, hospitals have struggled to maintain sufficient staffing levels, from primary care doctors to nurses. Even before the pandemic, it was typical for large metropolitan hospitals to have hundreds of unfilled nursing positions.

Using Internal Staff May Not Be Viable

Hospitals also ask the internal staff or medical students to work extra shifts or sign up for overtime to meet short-term scheduling needs. However, much of the accessible staffing flexibility is now absorbed by other direct patient care obligations. How bad is the pandemic’s strain? According to a new survey, hospitals in half of all U.S. states are now experiencing staffing issues related to vaccination.

Competition for Workers

Organizations will augment their teams with recruits and short-term contractors if vaccination staffing with current employees is not feasible. However, hospital staffing is fiercely competitive, pitting hospitals against one another for hourly jobs in local markets, pushing up pay rates. As more large-scale vaccination centers open in the coming months, the market will heat up. State licensure provisions still restrict the number of medical workers allowed to administer vaccines, but regulators are considering reforms to loosen those rules and enable vaccinators to operate across state lines.

The variety of skill sets needed to run a mass vaccination program further complicates recruitment and hiring.

In addition to Vaccinators, hiring managers can need to find people to do things like patient screening, data entry, scheduling, translation, and protection.

Scheduling Challenges

For healthcare organizations have become a scheduling problem. There are multiple reports of vaccine clinics and appointments being canceled on short notice. Vaccination staff retention becomes more difficult when scheduled shifts are canceled and can ultimately result in attrition if healthcare workers are not able to count on consistent scheduling.

Vaccination Staffing and Infinity Medical Care

To meet the challenges of vaccination staffing, many hiring managers are looking for outside staffing support, like that provided by Infinity Medical Care. Our firm’s services include clinical and vaccination staffing. We are engaged with large health systems to hire and manage clinical and non-clinical personnel for large-scale mass vaccination efforts.