‘People are exhausted’: Health care worker shortage leaves hospitals in a pinch

Since July, COVID hospitalizations in Minnesota have only been going up as health care systems deal with one of the worst labor shortages in history.

"What you’re seeing is people are exhausted. They’re choosing to retire," Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer Decubellis said. "They’re choosing to go into other positions, leave health care altogether."

Decubellis says they've lost a couple of hundred workers amid the stress of the pandemic and with a steady rise in cases the last 90 days that loss is magnified.

"Really just the whole system is feeling the high bed demand when we don’t have the workforce to even respond to that," she said.

The Minnesota Hospital Association says with every healthcare system feeling the pinch, they are exploring how they can build pipelines of talent into the industry before it gets worse.

"So I’m looking at it as a treadmill that just sped up a lot," Minnesota Hospital Association President Dr. Rahul Koranne said. "We are thinking hard about what we can do to attract the right talent."

While hospitals focus on a pandemic that seems to have no end.

"When all of us are feeling the pressure at the same time, there’s no way to decompress," Decubellis said.