As the country faces a surge in those infected with the covid-19 virus, health care workers are increasingly at risk of getting sick and even dying. There are news reports that soon the country could run out of health care workers who are essential in fighting the sprawling pandemic.
The concern for the health and safety of front line health care workers is widespread. Indeed, it has been reported that some doctors and nurses consider getting infected with the corona virus an inevitability in view of gear shortages, lax protocols, and a high level of stress in their workplaces — with the worst still to come. The implications of such infections and such a shortage would be devastating, both to overworked personnel and to the patients for whom receiving medical attention could be a life-or-death matter.
“As patient demand continues to ramp up nationwide and more health care workers are unable to show up for work, either because they contract the virus or because they have to self-quarantine, doctor shortages are a real possibility” said Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
One possible solution to this alarming problem would be to bring in more doctors and nurses from abroad and to make it easier for them to come.
According to Shari Dingle Costantini, president of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment, her organization has as many as 12,000 nurses abroad who could fill these jobs, if only they could enter the U.S. Even though they have a request for 5000 nurses in New York, evidently the foreign nurses are unable to immigrate here. “We have the nurses with all the credentials and ready to come into the country but they can’t because there are no visas,” she said.