Kent transport

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has 8.2% vacancies

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Chatham-Kent Health Alliance officials are facing an 8.2% vacancy rate, although they say some of the vacancies are the result of new jobs within the hospital organization.

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Meredith Whitehead, vice president of transportation and chief nursing officer, said vacancies had fluctuated between 6.2% and 8.4% over the past four months.

Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the Healthy Alliance, said the hospital has posted new jobs, such as staff for the upcoming withdrawal management unit and additions to the resource team, also known under the name of floating team.

“Some of those positions would be the normal rolling positions that we would recruit for,” Marshall said. “I think you would definitely see that in all the healthcare that everyone is recruiting.”

Whitehead said she didn’t notice one department that needed more staff than the others.

She noted that the hospital group has hired 88 percent of the 17 undergraduate nursing students it is working with this year. These hires are counted in the vacancy rate of 8.2%.

Students will become “full-time employees of CKHA in various nursing roles and various departments,” Whitehead said.

“For us, that’s a fantastic stat. We know it’s always a challenge when nurses have so many choices and we’re thrilled that 88 percent of our undergraduate nursing students have chosen to join CKHA. I believe most of them are just waiting to pass their exams.

Most students come from St. Clair College, but others come from a “variety” of schools, Whitehead said.

She said this conversion rate is higher than previous years.

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“The 88% is the number we had that had a choice to go somewhere else, but chose to go here,” Whitehead said. “It doesn’t matter which hospital you are in…there are vacancies, I believe, all over the place right now, due to our HHR (health human resources) issues across the province. »

The Health Alliance has also hired 32 additional people through the province’s “external” program in recent months, bringing the total number to 65. The program offers nursing students with at least one year of teaching hospital roles similar to those of a support worker staff.

“The hope is that the ‘external’ program also introduces people to what it’s like to work here and they will choose us later,” Marshall said. “It is both a great program to meet our current needs and also the potential for recruitment in the future.”

The Hospital Group has also filled the new position of Executive Head of Equity, Diversion and Inclusion. Naty Ramirez Reyes will start in the role on July 11.