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Ohio's hospitals are using 'visiting nurses' to alleviate the shortage during the pandemic

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But the Ohio Hospital Association says those services come with a steep cost.

Despite the fact that 2,300 Ohio National Guard members have been sent into some Ohio hospitals, many of those facilities are still so shorthanded that they are turning to the costly practice of hiring traveling nurses and medical professionals to help meet the needs. But that’s not solving the problem.

Ohio Hospital Association spokesman John Palmer says many hospitals are hiring what are known as “traveling nurses” from companies that provide contract nurses during this pandemic.

“It can be pretty expensive for hospitals to bring in caregivers through these agencies,” Palmer says.

Palmer says these services can cost hospitals a few thousand dollars a week for one employee. And that's not all. He says nurses at hospitals have been leaving those jobs to take positions at these contract agencies, making two or three times more money in the process. Palmer says he doesn’t know how many health care workers have defected to agencies within the past year.

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