There are numerous alternatives for careers that assist folks in long-term care – The Virginian-Pilot

The population at risk needs us. And we need professionals to fill that need.

Among other things, the healthcare industry is experiencing a change in personnel. Skilled nursing workers in particular are slowly recovering from job losses since March 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statewide, there are 400,000 job openings — 9,000 in Virginia alone — to close the gap to pre-pandemic levels. A nationwide survey of nursing home providers released in June by the American Health Care Association found that 87% have moderate to high staff shortages and 98% are having trouble hiring staff.

We must attract and develop new talent and focus on retaining current employees who may transition into long-term care in a post-pandemic society. Our goal is to hire caring, passionate team members who want to care for the aging population.

Virginia Health Services (VHS) owns and operates seven nursing and rehabilitation centers and two assisted living communities in Newport News, Hampton, York County, Gloucester and Kilmarnock, and an independent living community in Port Warwick, and provides home nursing, ambulatory physical, language and vocational rehabilitation and hospice care.

The delivery of care rests on the shoulders of our team members who form the foundation of our organization. It takes skilled, dedicated professionals to do the hard work of caring for the aging population. We are proud and grateful for our team and want to help all of our team members thrive and grow.

While staffing agencies fill the gaps temporarily, it’s not a sustainable solution due to the cost and lack of consistency. The people we look after benefit from dedicated, consistent and qualified employees around the clock. While our pay is competitive, VHS differs from other organizations in that we offer rewarding careers in communities that embrace team members like family.

If a career in healthcare was ever attractive, now is a good time to explore your role in long-term care. Positions are available, not only for nursing staff, but also in departments such as nutrition and food, environmental services, administration and accounting.

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At VHS we often have team members who start in a role e.g. B. in the household or in nutrition, and then go through our training to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). They are drawn to working more closely with residents.

The adult education center’s earn-as-you-learn program is an example of our investment in developing a great local workforce. It is open to individuals interested in becoming a CNA certified. The program also covers the cost of the post-completion certification exam and is expanding to positions in nutrition and environmental services. 68 students have completed the training.

Our team members have access to a variety of training and development opportunities. We have partnerships with ECPI University and Southern University for reduced tuition for our employees and their families. We have in-house training and services with our training team. Support is available across the organization to help our team members grow their skills and move forward.

And we promote from within. Two team members recently completed the Administrator-in-Training program and are studying to take their Administrator License exams. Both are deputy administrators in our company.

“Something really unique about the culture of VHS is that they help you grow and nurture from within,” said one of our Associate Administrators.

Long-term care needs more individuals to join its ranks. The people in our care and their loved ones deserve the best we can to offer to help them live their best life and that is only possible through the strength of our team. The team at VHS is dedicated to both investing in the development of our workforce and expanding our existing team to meet the needs of our community.

Mark Klyczek is President and CEO of Virginia Health Services, headquartered in Newport News. Learn more about careers within our organization at vahs.com/careers. Email him at [email protected]

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