As respiratory virus activity rises, the healthcare workforce is already overburdened.
Hospitals around the country are preparing for another winter with Covid, the first one that is anticipated to also contain high levels of influenza and other respiratory infections that have quietly simmered in the background for the previous two years.
The CDC reports that flu cases are already increasing in several areas of the United States. Youngsters infected with a respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and enteroviruses, are becoming more common among children seen by pediatricians.
Additionally, tens of thousands of new cases are being diagnosed daily despite a decreasing trend in Covid. As healthcare institutions struggle to deal with personnel shortages that got worse during the epidemic, diseases are converging. Every hospital in the country would confirm that they are busy if you question them about their workload.
In line with a wider national trend of people abandoning their employment, the number of healthcare professionals resigning is up 23% since the epidemic started.
Some of the front-line nurses who burnt out and left the profession were nurses. Others in their 50s and 60s who may have believed they had five more years left in the workforce took early retirement.
Finding new employees is a never-ending effort.
Due to a lack of staff, it will be difficult to handle any future spikes in patient volume, whether they are suffering from the flu, COVID, or another sickness.
In hospitals, there is no overflow space. Everything that brings in more patients will tilt the scales.