Healthcare Staffing: The New Normal?


Think back just 12 months ago, to when we were heading into an unprecedented time, unlike anything that several generations had ever experienced. As the Covid-19 pandemic was beginning we were all wondering: how bad is this going to get? How long will this last?

As case numbers began to rise, healthcare facilities were facing many obstacles including having enough beds, having enough PPE, and having enough ventilators to take care of the sudden increase in patients. Decisions on whether to continue with elective procedures were forced to be made, which is the main revenue driver at many facilities. We were entering an unknown period, as things were changing rapidly. This was certainly the case for healthcare staffing as well.

As the number of cases increased by the day, additional staff was in high demand not only to handle the in-flow of patients but also to cover for staff who had contracted the virus. Facilities reached out to staffing partners and weren’t surprised to find that the already shortened pool of clinicians was taking an even deeper dive. As a result, bill rates skyrocketed over the next several months to all-time highs. It remained that way for several months until the vaccine began to roll out. We’re now seeing a steady decline toward what would be considered being back to ‘normal’.

So, what does being back to ‘normal’ mean in healthcare staffing? I think we can all ask ourselves that question. We don’t know if Covid-19 will continue to mutate or if there will be another virus that follows a similar course in the months and years to come. Nobody can be certain of much these days. The only path forward is to expect the unexpected and make sure you have the right plan and staffing partner in place. What we come to know as the “new normal” may be an ever-changing target. Our only way to keep up is to prepare for and adapt to what’s yet to come.

Luke Christensen

Entering the healthcare staffing industry in 2018, Luke has brought 17 years of business development experience to Medical Solutions. Covering the Northeast and South-Central regions, he consults with hospitals and long-term care facilities to create a customized staffing solution and partnership. Prior to Medical Solutions, Luke held similar positions working with businesses and government agencies to help streamline and create more efficiencies within their current processes. Luke earned his BS in Journalism-Advertising from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2003.

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