July 27, 2020 at 11:16 AM EDT
Houston, Miami, other cities face mounting health-care worker shortages as infections climb
Shortages of health-care workers are worsening in Houston, Miami, Baton Rouge and other cities battling sustained coronavirus outbreaks, exhausting staffers and straining hospitals’ ability to cope with spiking cases.
That need is especially dire for front-line nurses, respiratory therapists and others who play hands-on, bedside roles where one nurse is often required for each critically ill patient.
While many hospitals have devised ways to stretch material resources — converting surgery wards into specialized coronavirus units and recycling masks and gowns — it is far more difficult to stretch the human workers needed to make the system function.
By Frances Stead Sellers and Abigail Hauslohner