Interior Health Authority struggles to recruit nurses

Interior Health Authority’s new Acute Health Services Administrator Deb Runge said it’s been a busy summer for IHA.

Interior Health Authority’s new Acute Health Services Administrator Deb Runge said it’s been a busy summer for IHA.

“We’ve been working diligently to recruit staff. We’ve hired 13 RNs and five LPNs for the hospital, but we’re still struggling to find RNs for speciality areas in emergency and ICU, but we’re recruiting globally for these positions and talking to nurses from Germany, Australia, England and Abu Dhabi to try and fill these positions,” Runge told city council during a presentation at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Physicians continue to work on recruitment, and as part of a strategy, IH is trying to become a member of the BC Practice Residency Program, which would allow for a student to do a residency program for six weeks at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

“Accreditation is coming through Interior Health Sept. 24 to 28, and our programs are gearing up for this with staff and physician education on what to expect with accreditation,” Runge said.

Williams Lake is one of six communities selected for the province’s new initiative Healthy Connections Prenatal Registry.

The registry allows pregnant women to register by phone and be contacted directly to find out their needs and be contacted by local resources.

Planning is underway for the annual influenza vaccination clinic that will be offered in October and November, and Williams Lake is one of three places chosen for a diabetes collaborative where health-care teams will receive special education on Cariboo diabetics.

Additionally, IH is partnering with Thompson Rivers University, Williams Lake campus, to apply for funding for a nurse practitioner to be stationed at a health clinic at the campus. The closing date for the funding application is Sept. 10, and council has agreed unanimously to write a letter in support of the application.

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