Local contract and per diem nurses enjoy a unique flexibility when it comes to their careers, being able to choose when, where and how often they work. They are able to customize a work schedule around attending school, raising a family or pursuing hobbies, and can even create a part time job working per diem shifts while maintaining a regular full-time staff position at another hospital. During flu season, these opportunities typically multiply as hospitals try to address shifting patient censuses that can vary greatly each season and are extremely unpredictable. This flu season, however, COVID-19 is set to add even more fluctuation as hospitals are confronted with patients infected with both viruses, either simultaneously or separately. In either case, local contract and per diem nurses should expect their assignment options to multiply, especially if they are willing to act now to secure the shifts and locations they want most.
Flu and COVID-19 Could Skyrocket Demand for Contract and Per Diem Healthcare Staff
With COVID-19 cases still rising in many states and flu season on the horizon, many people have asked if it is possible to be infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that several flu viruses as well as COVID-19 will be circulating this flu season, and it is indeed possible to be infected with multiple viruses at once. In fact, one study found that as many as twenty percent of patients who sought medical care for viral respiratory symptoms in the early months of 2020 were found to be infected with both COVID-19 and another infection. The implications for hospitals and the healthcare workers they employ are obvious. A deluge of patients suffering from co-infections or even needing to be hospitalized more than once if they are infected separately is entirely possible. Supplemental staff, including local contract and per diem nurses, will likely be in much higher demand than normal this flu season.
Measures in Place to Prevent COVID-19 May Prevent Flu, But Will it Matter?
Worldwide, social distancing and facial coverings have been shown effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. As a result of these measures, many counties in the Southern Hemisphere, including Chile, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa, which typically experience the height of flu season in mid-July, have reported dramatically fewer flu cases this season compared to last. Health officials credit COVID-19 restrictions for the declines. While this may be cause for hope here in the U.S., cold weather during our flu season is likely to mean more people will crowd together indoors, possible without facial coverings. Additionally, common colds, which are prevalent during flu season, and their symptoms of sneezing and coughing could help further spread the virus, specifically in asymptomatic carriers who may not even realize they are infected with COVID-19.
Now Guarantee Your Preferred Location
Because many hospitals and healthcare facilities are staffing early in preparation for what is expected to be an unusually busy and unpredictable flu season, healthcare providers who prefer a specific clinical location or work schedule are advised to secure an assignment now before those openings are filled. Ready to reserve your spot at the facility or location you most desire this flu season? Search our current local contract and per diem assignments.