It’s no secret there’s a nationwide shortage of nurses.
It’s a trend affecting Washingtonians too, including folks in North Central Washington who rely on medical care provided by Confluence Health. Confluence Health, which owns and operates Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, provides medical care some patients travel 100 miles or more to access. It’s a labor issue that’s led hospital administrators here and across the country to try to find ways to do more with less.
In December 2022, administrators at Confluence proposed changes to staffing policies that provide guidance on the nurse-to-patient ratio at Central Washington Hospital.
Those changes went into effect and a representative of the local chapter of the Washington State Nurses Association says it’s lowered the quality of care patients have come to expect from Confluence and will lead to increased burnout – further exacerbating the problem of staffing shortages in the healthcare industry.