Healthcare Staffing Shortage Task Force Report
Our nation’s healthcare facilities were dangerously understaffed prior to the pandemic. And for nearly three years, health professionals have worked through unprecedented challenges. This has compounded the strain on an already exhausted workforce, leaving most emotionally drained and far too many in mental health distress. Today’s staffing crisis is really a shortage of staff willing to endure the current working conditions, and it’s a crisis of the healthcare industries’ own making. As a result, frontline healthcare workers have been leaving and are continuing to leave the health professions in record numbers.
In response, delegates to the American Federation of Teachers’ biennial national convention in July 2022 passed a pointed resolution, “Addressing Staffing Shortages in the Healthcare Workforce.” This resolution called for the convening of a national task force composed of local leaders and frontline members, and that task force produced the Healthcare Staffing Shortage Task Force Report.
While the consequences of the chronic understaffing of our nation’s healthcare facilities can be deadly, the problem is solvable. Our nation’s healthcare employers must invest in the workforce, improve the working conditions, make healthcare facilities a safe place to work, and engage frontline workers in collaborative decision-making. Prioritizing patients over maximizing revenue means recruiting and retaining the workforce needed to deliver high-quality care.