Essentia Health Hiring Healthcare Workers

"It's been an unbelievable amount of stress on our staff. We're used to taking care of people who are very sick and used to seeing people die, but not in these numbers," said Jon Pryor, president of Essentia Health.

DULUTH, Minn. – Demand for healthcare workers is becoming critical in the Northland.

Essentia Health is now hiring, hoping to find skilled healthcare employees to fill the gaps brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

A shortage of frontline workers such as nurses is already creating a strain for hospitals in the region.

Many hospital officials are getting concerned for the future as the need for nurses may only become greater.

Healthcare workers at Essentia health have been working tirelessly to save lives in the midst of the pandemic.

“Our nurses and healthcare people are really rallying. It makes me so proud to work at Essentia,” said Jon Pryor,  president of Essentia Health.

Hospital beds are continuing to fill up as case numbers rise in the Northland.

“There were 50%  of our hospitalizations, 50% of ICU admission, and 38% deaths since March have occurred in November,” said Amy Westbrook, public health director for St. Louis County.

Unfortunately, the increased patient workload is becoming too difficult to handle.

“It’s been an unbelievable amount of stress on our staff. We’re used to taking care of people who are very sick and used to seeing people die, but not in these numbers,” said Pryor.

Hospital officials also say the pandemic isn’t the only reason for the spikes in patient intakes.

“We’ve had more patients get admitted not just because of COVID-19, but because people aren’t taking care of themselves,” said Pryor. “We are going to need more nurses than we have.”

In addition to increased patient volumes, many nurses are getting exposed to the coronavirus after caring for those who have tested positive.

This is creating an even bigger need for workers.

“We’re concerned about the future. We need to hire and we are working hard at it. We are asking you to do your part to wear a mask, stay away from others, social distance, and take care of yourself,” said Pryor.

Earlier this year, Essentia Health laid off nearly 900 employees due to financial setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital’s President says many of those individuals were not clinical workers.

Most of them have since been rehired.

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