Hospital

US Hospitals Facing Worrisome Shortage of Nurses, Doctors

SAN FRANCISCO — With so many states seeing a flood of coronavirus patients, U.S. hospitals are again worried about finding enough medical workers to meet demand just as infections from the holiday season threaten to add to the burden on American health care.

California, which is enduring by far its worst spike in cases and hospitalizations, is reaching out to places like Australia and Taiwan to fill the need for 3,000 temporary medical workers, particularly nurses trained in critical care.

“We’re now in a situation where we have surges all across the country, so nobody has many nurses to spare,” said Dr. Janet Coffman, a professor of public policy at the University of California in San Francisco.

Hospitals in some states have enlisted retired nurses and students. In Alabama, more than 120 students and faculty members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s nursing school began helping with care last week at UAB Hospital.

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