Survey Reports Troubles Finding, Keeping Health Care Workers In Northwestern Wisconsin

Survey Got Responses From 45 Health Care Organizations Over 10 Counties

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A new survey of health care organizations in northwestern Wisconsin finds it’s difficult to recruit and retain health care workers.

The survey outlined findings from 45 out of 102 health care organizations spanning 10 counties. Andrea Huggenvik, with the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, said results revealed a shortage of health care workers in several areas.

“Really high vacancy rates amongst personal care workers, home health aides and (certified nursing assistants) and also really high turnover rates as well,” she said.

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Survey findings show the highest turnover among dental assistants, occupational therapists and licensed physician assistants. Results also show primary care doctors, psychiatrists, and paramedics are difficult to recruit.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed reported difficulty finding workers who specialize in treating dementia or Alzheimer’s patients.

The survey was funded through a roughly $84,000 grant from an agency within the U.S. Department of Health Services.