DHS encourages people to enter the health care workforce to combat the shortage

Health care worker
Health care worker(weau)
Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 5:02 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A flexible schedule, job security, endless career opportunities but most of all, a rewarding and meaningful day on the job. This is how people describe their work in health care. That’s why the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is encouraging more people in Wisconsin to join in.

There is no doubt that working in health care has been an uphill battle this year. Jen Drayton, Chief Nursing Officer at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospitals told WEAU,

“In my 36 years of nursing this is the biggest challenge we have faced to date and I don’t think it will probably be the last one.”

Drayton says although health care workers are tired and drained after months of working at capacity and overtime, it’s a profession she would never regret getting into.

“It is the most rewarding career and it is probably also the most innovative and exciting career as well.”

That’s the message the department of health services is trying to relay to people across Wisconsin.

The launch of its new campaign, WisHealth Careers, attempts to address the growing shortage of healthcare workers in the state.

Which Dove Healthcare Regional Director of Operations Jeremy Kiley says was an issue even before COVID19.

“We entered this pandemic in a situation where we had a labor shortage and of course now its exacerbated with the pandemic,” Kiley said.

Both Kiley and Drayton agree the efforts by the DHS are needed and appreciated. Including the $80,000,000 recently announced to help increase staffing in Wisconsin’s long-term care facilities.

“I am very grateful to the state for stepping in to understand and see the need and to help us ... we need all hands on deck right now,” Drayton said.

Kiley is grateful for the help and would like to see the support become permanent, in the state’s Medicaid budget.

“It’s that budget that we use to turn around and pay our employees and create benefit structures for our employees. That would allow us to be more competitive and keep people engaged in our sector.”

That engagement could secure staffing and avoid the shortages which exist now.

Additionally, this campaign is attempting to increase visibility of open health care positions in the region. The list of hundreds of health care job openings-- from across the state can be found on the DHS website or by clicking here.

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