Dietitian Blog, Long-Term Care, MNT Guidelines, Professional Development, Staffing Client Blog, Staffing Tips for Success | Sep 14 2020

Importance of adequate staffing during COVID-19

Doctors standing in masks while one holds a paper that says Coronavirus

No one can deny how tough this pandemic has been, especially for healthcare facilities. COVID-19 has ripped through many healthcare facilities targeting their elderly and medically frail populations. And as a tragic result of answering their call to help others, some healthcare providers and clinical staff members have also fallen ill.

A recent article published in the online CommonWealth Magazine shared the story of a group of Massachusetts long-term care (LTC) facilities and how they weathered the COVID-19 storm. The author, Thomas LaVallee, has spent his career in LTC in various capacities and shares his experience dealing with the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Impact on healthcare facilities

Like many acute care and LTC facilities have experienced, LaVallee describes the critical shortage of personal protective equipment, rapid spread of cases, challenges with staffing shortages, and devastating losses. No facility is exempt from the infiltration of the novel coronavirus, but there are steps that can be taken to curb the devastation.

LaVallee shares that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provided financial support to nursing home facilities during the height of infections. Of course, LTC facilities spent the money to purchase desperately needed personal protective equipment and other supplies. But the author notes that 80 percent of the funds were actually spent on staffing. Whether providing monetary bonuses to clinical staff who served during the pandemic or hiring additional support, this staffing boost certainly improved the quality, efficiency, and personalization of residential care.

In fact, LaVallee notes, “These investments have made our facilities safer and help fortify against a resurgence of the virus.”

Evaluate your staffing needs

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. And now, flu season is upon us. This year’s spread and impact of the flu are not yet known. However, coupling flu with the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare facilities are bracing for a difficult winter.

Following the lead of Massachusetts LTC facilities, it’s time to evaluate your staffing needs.

  • Do you have enough dietitian and/or certified dietary manager (CDM) coverage for all of your facilities?
  • Do you have a back-up plan, in case of infection or mandatory quarantine?
  • How will you ensure coverage at facilities that share dietitian or CDM staff, especially if one facility experiences an outbreak?

How Dietitians On Demand can help

Dietitians On Demand is the leader in nationwide nutrition staffing services. We can staff dietitians, diet technicians, or CDMs anywhere in the country on very short notice. During the pandemic, we know facilities need nutrition staff fast. We fill most jobs in seven days or less (and lately, it has been four days or less!). Click below to contact us or request nutrition staffing today.

Dietitians On Demand is a nationwide staffing and recruiting company for registered dietitians, specializing in short-term, temporary and permanent-hire positions in acute care, long term care and food service positions. We’re dedicated to dietitians and helping them enhance their practice and excel in the workplace. Check out our job openingsrequest your coverage, or visit our store today!

LaVallee T. Mass. nursing homes need a permanent fix. CommonWealth Magazine website. Published July 24, 2020. Accessed September 10, 2020.
Sara Glanz, registered dietitian

About Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC worked as a traveling dietitian for Dietitians On Demand for two years before joining the team as the corporate dietitian. In this role, she has championed the continuing education program to empower dietitians everywhere to achieve their professional goals.

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