Healthcare Staff Shortages In Arizona Further Impacted By Dearth Of Recruiters

Healthcare Staff Shortages In Arizona Further Impacted By Dearth Of Recruiters

By Terri Jo Neff |

There has been much media coverage in recent months about Arizona’s nursing shortage. This summer, Phoenix-based Banner Health confirmed it was down nearly 1,400 nursing professionals at its 30 hospitals and associated medical offices across the country.

But even the prestigious Mayo Clinic—recognized as the top hospital in the United States for 2020-2021 by U.S. News & World Report—has learned that staffing issues extend far beyond the nursing ranks and into nearly every department.

As of Sunday, more than 375 jobs were advertised on the Mayo Clinic’s website. And those are only the company’s open positions in Arizona.

The reality of employment challenges facing Arizona’s medical community is forcing changes in how to attract medical professionals who may be looking to change jobs. And one hospital in Cochise County has found a creative way to garner the attention of prospective employees.

Canyon Vista Medica Center in Sierra Vista opened in 2015 as Cochise County’s only Level 3 trauma medical facility. Last week it released a recruitment video touting the wonderful work environment, although much of the video is spent showcasing Sierra Vista and Cochise County.

The video available on Facebook and LinkedIn draws attention to “the wonderful sceneries and opportunities” the region has to offer, according to CVMC spokeswoman Alexis Ramanjulu.

“Like all industries we have to be creative in how we attract new employees,” Ramanjulu explained to AZ Free News. “We hope by showcasing the place our business and healthcare heroes call home will attract medical professionals to our hospital and our part of the country.”

Such efforts are necessary despite the fact Gov. Doug Ducey announced $25 million to bolster hospital frontline staffing in November 2020, followed a few weeks later by another $60 million to address nursing shortages. The December funding pledge was matched by Ducey last month, but it could take weeks, if not months, to get that money into the hands of hospital administrators.

In the meantime, some smaller healthcare providers and medical offices have begun targeting workers at those larger companies in Arizona that are threatening to suspend or even fire medical professional for noncompliance of stringent COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

Yet hiring efforts across the state are not coming close to addressing the widespread staffing shortage. Part of the problem, according to one hospital administrator, is that such outreach efforts are often conducted by trained recruiters, which are also in short supply in Arizona.

Among those recently advertising for experienced recruiters in Arizona, are St. Luke’s Hospital (Tempe), Northwest Healthcare (Tucson), and Banner Health, which is Arizona’s largest employer.

Other companies with recruiter openings are Yavapai Regional Medical Center (Prescott), Envita Medical Center (Scottsdale), Mountain Vista Medical Center (Mesa), Northern Arizona Healthcare Corp. (Flagstaff), SpringBoard Healthcare (Phoenix), Havasu Regional Medical Center (Sacate), Tenet Healthcare (Phoenix), LifePoint Health (Lake Havasu City), Steward Health Care (Arizona City), and IASIS Healthcare (Mesa).