Promote Staff Vaccination Rates!
According to AHCA: Providers with high uptake are more likely to employ multiple strategies to promote vaccine uptake. Vaccine hesitancy is complicated, and concerns can range from the speed at which the vaccine was developed, concerns over safety or side effects and distrust in government, public health or other institutions. Employ multiple approaches and be persistent in your efforts to address vaccine hesitancy. Remember that no one size fits all.
Please refer to the AHCA Get Vaccinated page for helpful strategies: https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Documents/GetVaccinated/GetVaccinated-Strategies-Improve-Vacc-Rates.pdf
NYSHFA|NYSCAL has prepared some key contingency staffing strategies in preparation of the upcoming September 27th vaccine staff mandate. With appropriate planning and preparation, you will be able to continue essential functions to protect your vulnerable residents during this time and speed resumption of normal operations when appropriate.
We encourage facility Administrators to review these approaches with your team and implement as needed to assist your facility in developing effective plans for coping.
- Identify vaccination status of all facility employees
- Develop a Contingency Staff Plan for each shift.
- Review your facility’s Contingency Staffing Plans (CSP) with your team
- Consider utilizing the Incident Command System.
- Review the Emergency Preparedness Plan
- Update the Employee Call Down list to ensure accuracy of contact information
- Notify your NYSDOH Regional Office of your facility’s Contingency Staffing Plan
- Evaluate union considerations surrounding overtime issues and sharing of responsibilities among workers.
- Meet with staff and provide an updated situation report with the staff.
- Request additional overtime shifts from your full-time and part-time team members
- Evaluate using shift changes such as implementing 12-hour shifts
- Address any transportation needs/barriers for staff
- Reach out to the NYSDOH Nursing Home Assistance and Coordination Center (NHACC), to alert them of your facility staffing needs. DAL attached for NHACC – AL: this will not apply to AL.
- Postpone or stop all nonessential functions and reassign those staff to critical functions, look at the impact of new admissions.
- Minimize unnecessary meetings to relieve staff of administrative responsibilities for more time on the units.
- Determine what units, if any, can be consolidated, if needed.
- Identify any ancillary staffing interested in expanding their scope of work by taking available online courses to help support the resident’s care needs:
- Utilize the Temporary Nurse Aide (TNA) program waiver available under Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for nursing assistant tasks. Facilities will need to get their TNA’s into the TNA Bridge program within 4 months after the PHE ends. You can bring in new TNAs up to 30 days before the end of the PHE – DAL attached for TNA program – AL: this will not apply to AL.
- Utilize lay volunteers or staff in other roles (PT, OT, RT, SLP, administrative support staff) to provide basic resident hygiene and feeding – AL: feeding will not be allowed in AL, this must be done by a nurse in AL.
- Use the one hour Paid Feeding Assistants Program to assist with feeding the residents for both shifts – AL: feeding must be done by nurse in AL.
- Set plan for providing overnight accommodations at the facility to minimize staff travel time. AL: this would require a waiver submitted to DOH and approval from DOH in AL.
- Contact families that have agreed to care for residents/patients at home during crisis times or who will care for them in the facility.
- Contact sister facilities to determine sharing available staff.
- Set up access to vaccination clinics with Pharmacy Partners for staff to obtain their first dose.
For More Information Contact will be:
Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Tarrah Quinlan, RN, BSN
Director of Education Program Development and Member Operations
Executive Director, NYSCAL
Coordinator of Member Support
518.462.4800, ext. 13