Rising hospitalizations and staffing shortages puts a strain on rural hospitals

Across the state of Nebraska, COVID cases are on the rise once again. It's putting a strain on rural and major hospitals since they are all interconnected.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) –Across the state of Nebraska, COVID cases are on the rise once again. It’s putting a strain on rural and major hospitals since they are all interconnected.

Rural hospitals turn to places like Bryan Health, CHI Health or UNMC when they have a critical care patient that might need a little more help…but those major hospitals are seeing the same influx of cases, forcing patients to wait for care.

“It’s becoming a challenge to be able to move our most critical patients to the places they need and when we can’t move our most critical patients from our critical access hospitals, that means that other patients, there just isn’t going to be a bed from there,” the Executive Director of Nebraska Rural Hospital Association, Jed Hansen, said.

on top of that, many places are seeing staffing shortage. Even if a bed may be open, there aren’t enough nurses to take care of the sick.

“We have some hospitals that are are vulnerable in Nebraska where maybe they’re, they only have one, two or three nurses that are you know, not necessarily in surplus but, but if those nurses were to get sick or they decide to exit healthcare or their profession, you know, those those hospitals, maybe out of a service line,” Hansen said.

Hansen said places are also seeing more patients who may have put off elective surgery or preventative screening over the last 18 months. It puts more pressure on the hospitals.

Categories: Coronavirus, Nebraska News, News