Pennsylvania in healthcare staffing 'crisis'

A group of healthcare workers in Western Pennsylvania addressed state lawmakers this week, warning of a healthcare staffing crisis in the state, according to a Jan. 26 report from ABC affiliate WTAE.

Physicians, nurses, emergency medical services workers and others shared that not enough people are joining the field to make up for the workers leaving in record numbers. 

A nurse and member of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania, told the committee that nurses are leaving due to the stresses brought by statewide understaffing. 

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's chief medical officer shared that even after hiring 34,000 new workers in the last year, the organization is still 12,000 positions behind in hiring.  

Healthcare professionals in the state are urging lawmakers to issue more government financial help for those training to work in healthcare. Others are calling for the state to issue better staff-to-patient ratios. 

"We have a catastrophic staffing crisis. It is not a shortage, it is a staffing crisis because there are plenty of people who have licenses who are capable of doing this work," SEIU nurse Michelle Boyle, RN, told lawmakers. 

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