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Staffing agencies, volunteers hoping to help fill need for healthcare workers in the state

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“There’s no precedence for this, nobody has seen this before — like nobody knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow or next week or when this is gonna end,” Nurse at Trinity Health and Minot State nursing instructor Carrie Lewis said.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on across the state, hospitals and other facilities are experiencing extreme staff shortages, which has led to the need to gather help — whether it be from other hospitals or outside agencies like Dakota Travel Nurse.

“We’re able to make sure that we’re using our resources, wisely and making sure that that facilities that are shortest staffed are getting priority status with their staffing needs and that just ensures and makes sure that the residents are getting the best care they can,” Founder and Owner of Dakota Travel Nurse, Jamie Fleck said.

Fleck and her staff at Dakota Travel Nurse have seen a large increase in job postings in various fields, going from 25 to 30 a week to now averaging 150.

“There’s multiple positions like we have all kind of needs CNA’s, RN’s, LPN’s I know the state just required a lot of RN positions to be filled at this point so we are still working on that but throughout North Dakota different facilities have different needs at different times,” Staff member at Dakota Travel Nurse, Sheriff Sharma said.

In Minot, Trinity Health officials have expressed needs in many areas throughout the system, and in cases when agencies can’t provide that help, volunteers have been stepping up.

Like Lewis.

“I don’t need to go help, it’s not my job to go do that but I want to do that because I have a skill set that’s needed as well as all of us up here,” Lewis said.

Lewis has worked at Trinity for over 20 years. She normally fills in during holidays and vacations and says the camaraderie between her and her colleagues is also a motivation to be on the frontlines.

“These are my friends, my coworkers, I don’t want them to feel like they’ve been forgotten and I don’t want them to burnout and that’s what’s gonna happen these are people that are taking care of really sick, critical people.”

She plans to use this experience to motivate her students, soon to be working nurses, to help wherever they can.

“We’re not just saying, ‘You go do this, go do as I say, do as I do.’ Let’s go do this together and we’ll get through it and afterwards it builds camaraderie and afterwards we’ll all have stories to talk about for years to come,” Lewis said.

To see available positions or apply through Dakota Travel Nurse, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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