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National Guard assisting OSH with healthcare worker shortage

Friday, September 10, 2021

OSH is experiencing a serious staffing shortfall as a result of the country's shortage of healthcare workers. To help fill the gap, nearly 25 members of the National Guard have begun their training as mental health care assistants at the OSH Salem Campus. This is the second time the National Guard has helped staff the hospital during the past few months.

“Like other hospitals throughout the country, we are facing an acute staffing crisis," Superintendent Dolly Matteucci said. “I'm very grateful to the National Guard for coming to our aid during this challenging time. Our patients deserve the best possible care, and the assistance of the Guard will help."

The National Guard members have various levels of experience, and they will work alongside seasoned staff to serve patient meals, escort patients to treatment activities, provide activities on the unit, and assist patients with activities of daily living. They will dress in hospital-issued scrubs.

Guard members who helped at the hospital earlier this summer will receive a one-day orientation before working on the floor. Those who are new to the hospital will complete four days of New Employee Orientation and nine days of onboarding to learn basic nursing duties — including training on how to deescalate and respond to behavioral emergencies. They will then complete 40 hours of on-unit orientation with a staff mentor.

To bolster staffing levels, OSH leadership is also deploying people from throughout the hospital to work on the units, offering overtime pay, accelerating the hiring process, hiring temporary workers and signing additional contracts for agency staff. 



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