As the terrible situation in Ukraine continues, refugees are being offered relocation, training and employment from the US long-term care sector. Thousands of refugees will potentially be offered help via a new partnership between The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living and local/national organisations in Ukraine.
The long-term care sector (and healthcare system in general) are facing a staffing crisis due to the COVID pandemic, with the staff numbers at their lowest point for 15 years. Along with staff testing positive for COVID, there have been large numbers of staff moving out of the healthcare industry altogether, as the already very stressful jobs become too much.
Many providers are facing extreme pressure and severe financial strain as they have to use contract staff which comes at a much higher cost. When speaking to clients, aside from the financial implications of contracting staff, there is also the worry for consistency and quality. Instead of staff being trained over a period of time to work in the way the provider wants them to, staff are being brought in to fill gaps in the workforce and are being thrown into the deep end which is less than ideal, especially when providing very specialised care in some cases.
This is a fantastic initiative by the long-term care industry and we hope to see more of this.
“As the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, we are ready to embrace Ukrainian and all refugees – our new neighbors – as part of our long-term care family and offer the training and support they need to be successful,” Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL president and CEO, said in a statement. Long-term care providers have previously said they would welcome immigrant refugees into the industry’s workforce as a show of support. Providers have also pushed the State Department to address a backlog of immigrant visa processing and prioritize visas for healthcare workers and nurses. “No one wishes to leave their home, but we must do everything we can to support them during this trying time,” Parkinson added. “The diversity of career paths within long-term care means there is something for everyone, and we welcome them with open arms.”