New River Valley residents deal with shortages on doctors, healthcare workers

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Friday, pediatricians and family medicine providers, said they are experiencing a slight shortage in staffing.

Lee Cox, Practice Manager at New River Valley Pediatrics, says this time of year, patients are coming in left and right. The pandemic does not help either.

“I think we are a little tired, and I think with COVID that has changed a lot of things as well,” said Cox.

Cox says nationwide healthcare providers are experiencing positions left unfilled and staff are sometimes overwhelmed.

At New River Valley Pediatrics, there are multiple positions open for a certified nursing assistant position.

“This time of year is always a challenge, because there are a lot of work-ins, and there is a lot of things that you don’t anticipate in the beginning of the day. So, you have to adjust to changes in the schedule,” explained Cox.

Cox does not like to use the word ‘understaffed’ because she feels her team is doing a great job dealing with the demand in back-to-school immunizations, PCR COVID-19 tests, vaccinations, and more.

Christopher Finley, Marketing Director of the LewisGale Regional Health System, says they are working to address the shortage.

“The LewisGale Regional Health System is working to address a tight labor market, which coincides with nursing workforce shortages compounded by the pandemic. As part of the HCA Virginia Health System, our facilities are working to retain our existing colleagues, attract new nurses, and encouraging and supporting those considering a career in nursing through education programs.”

By: Christopher Finley, Marketing Director at LewisGale Regional Health System.

However, that is not the case for all healthcare providers. Some say times are tough, but others are doing fine, working at full staffing capacity.

Blacksburg Pediatrics says they are doing fine, but during the height of the pandemic, it was difficult to find workers.

“It’s extremely hard for managers to staff, whether you are in a hospital or you’re in a small practice. There were a lot of concerns about being around sick people and being exposed,” stated Michelle Cramer, CCMA & Practice Manager at Blacksburg Pediatrics.

Many healthcare systems are trying to encourage jobs in healthcare by partnering with colleges and universities.

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