Similar to digging out of the recent snowstorms, what is your plan to get out from under COVID-19?

Author: Betsie Sassen, R.N., M.S.N.

As much of the country has been blanketed with snow over the last month, we are in the process of digging out using various techniques that have been used for generations. These techniques and resources have been used for many years and have worked because the challenges we have faced with weather and snow remains consistent.

However, during COVID-19 we are facing many challenges that have never been seen. Whether it is a loss of nurses to agencies, increased bonus or hazard pay, or temporary market adjustment exceeded over 30% to fight the COVID-19 battle, we now must begin the process of digging out of COVID-19 and get back to a new sense of normal.

  • If the volume continues to return to normal without COVID-19, what does your bottom line look like?
  • What is your plan to “sunset” agency contracts?
  • What are you doing to quantify and eliminate the excess pay in resources used over the last 12 months?
  • What is your plan to regain nurses that have left for Nursing Agencies? What is your plan to replace them…travel and missing family at home may start to grind on them.
  • Are you looking to eliminate the bonus pay for COVID-19 units?
  • What is your communication plan to help the staff when this pay is taken away?
  • When do others return to work?
  • Do you have dates set when all staff needs to be back in the hospital? This may be an exceedingly difficult time for some as many have become very set in their habits.
  • Is there a change you made that you may want to continue? Decreasing leases, remote visits, cross training, etc.

These are all difficult challenges, like the after effect of a storm, but without a plan . . .

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