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Holiday season keeps healthcare workers busy

For most people, the holidays are a time of celebration, giving, and gatherings. But injuries and chronic conditions don’t take time off, making it a busy stretch of the year for health services providers. Here are some of the reasons these employees may find themselves in high demand during the holiday season.

Seasonal illness and population shifts increase provider need.

With the colder weather comes the peak of flu season and a jump in patients being seen for respiratory and other weather-related health issues. And as retirees travel south to escape the winter season, demand in those locations for skilled services and treatment grows.[1]

ERs and Urgent Cares are the only options.

Private practices and clinics often close for major holidays, leaving people with fewer options for treatment after an injury or illness. Offices that stay open need skilled doctors and nursing staff to care for the influx of patients with limited choices for treatment.

 Regular schedules shift to give employees time off with family.

During the busy holiday season, employees use earned vacation hours to travel or spend time with their loved ones. Facilities that must stay open 24/7 may hire seasonal or PRN help to fill in, at least for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, supplementing regular staff.

Holiday-related accidents and traumas increase staffing needs.

You’ve seen the YouTube highlight reels of people making poor choices on holidays. From dropping frozen turkey in hot oil to car crashes on icy roadways, there are a whole host of incidents that can lead to a busy registration desk—and more employees being called in to help care for patients. Studies show New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving are the two most dangerous days of the year to be on the road, sending more injured drivers and passengers to the hospital for treatment.[2]

 Emotions run high.

With families gathered together for the holiday season, sickness and accidents can lead to tension, leaving providers responsible not just for treating diseases but for navigating complicated relationships and reconciling conflicts. And patients stuck in the hospital for lengthy stays may feel lonely or isolated—needing empathetic staff to continue specialized care with patience and understanding.

 While the holidays are a busy time for health services providers, the need for trained medical professionals nationwide is a year-round concern. The School of Health Services at Helms College gives you the knowledge, skills and abilities to prepare you for a career in the growing healthcare field. When you choose our Multi-Skilled Medical Assistant or Patient Care Technician paths, you’ll combine classroom study under experienced faculty with the hands-on experiential learning that trains you to think strategically in the workplace.  Contact us today for more information or click here to apply.

[1] https://www.amnhealthcare.com/holiday-staffing-challenges/

[2] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-new-study-reveals-the-most-dangerous-holidays-to_us_5a502febe4b0f9b24bf31763

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