Charles County hospital faces staffing challenges amid pandemic

The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata is having a challenging time with staffing levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to one of its executives who said the hospital isn’t alone.

The Charles County hospital is “having a problem with recruiting agency staffing,” as keeping temporary workers amid the pandemic is “very hard” for hospitals nationwide, said Bill Grimes, vice president of ancillary services at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center.

Grimes said the issue is an escalating one, adding that as soon as an employer offers one rate, another employer will offer a higher one.

At the Board of Charles County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Grimes said the matter has caused “very tight schedules” as the hospital continues to “balance staffing with patient need.”

Grimes told commissioners that the hospital has seen a normal level of patients for this time of year, plus an influx of coronavirus patients — “an additional 23 this morning,” he added.

Charles County has had more than 6,300 coronavirus cases and nearly 130 related deaths, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The hospital’s COVID-19 vaccination program is underway, with about 420 shots given as of Monday morning, according to Grimes.

Although he called the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines “equally as effective,” Grimes said the hospital is trying to use “mostly” Moderna because “it has much less handling requirements.”


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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