ALBANY – The Iroquois Healthcare Association (IHA) hopes to ease the pressures of the severe health worker shortages that New York State has experienced since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take A Look Career Fairs consist of five online events focused on different regions of upstate New York. The regions include the Capital District, the South Level, the North of the country, the Mohawk Valley, and central New York City.
âHospitals in upstate New York are in desperate need of clinical and non-clinical workers. In order to continue to fight this ongoing pandemic, something must be done, âsaid IHA President and CEO Gary J. Fitzgerald.
âThe IHA hopes to relieve our member hospitals with these virtual, safe-distance career fairs. “
Suppliers will seek both clinical staff such as licensed practical nurses, RNs and LPNs, as well as non-clinical staff such as housekeeping, catering, maintenance, etc.
IHA contracts with an online platform, Brazen, to host the shows. Brazen allows suppliers to set up and design virtual âboothsâ to showcase their organization.
Job seekers can browse the booths to learn more without further interaction, or choose to speak with representatives. The platform offers text and video chat functionality for job seekers and suppliers to connect and learn more about each other.
Online career fairs are an accessible opportunity for healthcare employers and job seekers to connect securely. There is no cost to employers or job seekers to attend the events.
To help providers set up their exhibitions, IHA also offers one-on-one training to ensure the best experience for participants.
Staff will walk vendors through the platform to familiarize them, as well as to explain various features and capabilities.
The IHA launched the âTake A Lookâ campaign in 2013 with the goal of exposing trainee healthcare professionals to practice opportunities in communities across upstate New York. The IHA organized 3-day guided tours of UNY hospitals, medical staff, communities and cultures through visits to hospitals, FQHC and outpatient care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has halted tours, but the IHA believes there is still a need to expose job seekers to the opportunities that upstate New York has to offer.
The acute care sector has experienced staff shortages for several years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the problem.
From 2020 to 2021, the vacancy rate for full-time hospital employees fell from 6.4% to 9.2%. Critical positions such as registered nurses and respiratory therapists have vacancy rates above 15%.
The first event will take place today from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for the northern region of the country. A full calendar of events and instructions on how job seekers should register are available on our website, https://www.iroquois.org/.
âThe IHA has 13 critical access hospitals and 13 unique community hospitals among its members,â said IHA program director Eileen Murphy.
âIf these facilities don’t have staff to care for patients, it will negatively affect many communities in New York City. Virtual job fairs offer hospitals the opportunity to recruit workers, as well as members of rural communities to secure stable employment.