DENVER — A Denver-based travel nursing company is currently seeing a demand for nurses five times greater than the first wave of COVID-19.
Fastaff Travel Nursing Senior Vice President Kathy Kohnke told 9NEWS the need for additional nurses in states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana are tremendous, but the pool of nurses to send to surging hospitals is getting smaller.
"I think the reluctancy is more of a fatigue issue," Kohnke said. "The problem is the long duration this is running is really taking its toll on some of these nurses. The PTSD is real; they've seen a lot, and they are tired."
Currently, Fastaff is responding to the COVID surge in the southern states where the vaccination rate is low. The company is also preparing to backfill for nurses who quit in states or hospitals that require vaccination.
"That in itself is putting a huge pressure on need," Kohnke said.
Travel nurse Lydia Mobley is currently working in Michigan. She told 9NEWS the thought of going back to a hospital facing a major surge does give her pause.
"To see all these people die and how mentally the toll that that took on all of us and just have to prepare yourself to see it again, yea it would make me hesitate," she said.
"The biggest difference this time it was all preventable. These people chose not to prevent it, so that’s very frustrating as well. I beg you – I plead you – please just go get vaccinated."
Fastaff stated another issue they are monitoring are hospitalization rates in children's hospitals; with schools starting and fewer nurses specialized in pediatric care, they worry that a shortage is coming soon.
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