Health care labor shortages affecting Western Colorado

Healthcare Worker Shortage
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:03 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The health care labor shortages are a prominent issue that is affecting several facilities throughout Western Colorado.

Balynda Myers, who works at La Villa Grande Care Center, tells me there are several reasons for this.

“Honestly, a lot of it has to do with people are realizing that they can make more money work traveling so, they don’t want to stay put. Some of it has been due to COVID. People either don’t want to risk the exposure, or we are at the point where some people do not want to get vaccinated,” said Myers.

Myers tells me this career path isn’t for everybody but those who truly are doing it from the heart, like Madison Toke, a high school student who took part in the interviews for potential employment in a health care facility.

“I really want a job in health care because I feel like I empathize with people a lot, and that’s just what I want to do. I really want to be a nurse, so it was just really nice just talking to people that know what it is to be in the medical field,” said Toke.

The event gave D51 career center students a chance to interview with the local health care facilities and discuss the potential paths they would like to follow in the future. Most of the students are working towards certification as Certified Nursing Assistant.

“I think the younger generations we can bring into this career field. I think it’s going to be better in the long run for our elderly people to have all these young, fresh faces that enjoy being with them,” said Myers.

The students cannot be hired as CNAs until they graduate and pass the state board exam, but they can be employed as dietary assistants, activities assistants and congeries.

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