Staff Shortages In Hospitals and Nursing Homes

 Staff Shortages In Hospitals & Nursing Homes

The period between 2020 and 2023 led to staff shortages in all industries. However, the most critical industries were hurt the most nationwide, including PA. Hospitals, nursing facilities, and even personal care homes bore much of the brunt. 

According to, which tracks healthcare trends, it is now a crisis in 2023. Of course, Oracle tracks this and other human capital problems, but healthcare shortages are crucial. 

This crisis is compounded by the fact that although there is a healthcare shortage, it does not relieve any facilities of providing the necessary Duty of Care requirements. The Cornell University of Law spells out the Duty of Care as a Fiduciary Duty, which simply means a necessary duty. 

Any patients or residents must receive a standard of care that is within the normal bounds of the law in all states, not just PA. ,However, PA has a large aging population, whichh compounds the staff shortage. According to Statistica, the most increases were seen in the 45 age plus and 65 age plus categories.  

Negligence Can Arise in Staff Shortages in Healthcare

It is not intentional usually, but it can lead to decreased quality of care for many reasons:

Covid led to many surgeries being postponed. Deemed non-necessary, and hospitals and other facilities such as rehab centers have seen an influx of patients in a mere three yearsEven after opening up, appointment wait times delayed care, which is also a form of Medical Negligence.

  • Healthcare workers often quit rather than be exposed to Covid.

Some could bear the tension and fear, plus long hours; others could not. Unfortunately, many did fall ill themselves when exposed to Covid and did not return after recovery. 

  • Doctors have also aged. 

As have nurses and other facility personnel. Some quit or took retirement. Nevertheless, time marched on for all, and incoming physicians, nurses, and other facility workers saw their training and internships interrupted, so are not ready for practice yet. 

  • Long hours can make judgment poor. 

Only so long can the human body cope with a lack of sleep and be mentally aware. Health problems occur in professionals and even hallucinations, according to

  • It costs money and persistence to land a healthcare position.

Costs of loans for doctors and nurses to finish degrees have risen due to higher interest rates. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, the costs are in the six figures or higher while wages have not kept up with the demand.  

Even a simpler Physician’s Assistant Certification now costs more than before. In addition, simple Nurse Aides face requirements as well with CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) and other mandatory requirements being present, and some facilities provide this prior employment while some do not. 

  • Medical facilities are facing higher costs.

They are faced with cutting back on employee benefits or even laying off staff. The worst shortages can be seen in the Rehab and Nursing Home Facilities, where calls for volunteers occur regularly now in PA, as there is no time for recreational activity management among staff. 

These are generally the lowest-paid jobs, so the turnover is excruciatingly high. Nurse Aides must deal with dementia patients, severely ill or handicapped patients, and even angry patients, which can lead to negligence. It is emotionally taxing for the least amount of pay. Nurse Aides can also be called CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) in PA. 

Although the pay range can go up to 22.21 per hour, given the stress, double shifts, and certifications that are quite high, especially with the cost of living increasing daily, it becomes a challenge to keep staff. 

  • Actual bankruptcies of many smaller rural hospitals occurred.

According to the AHA (American Heart Association), the lockdowns caused such financial hardship that smaller rural hospitals simply closed and declared bankruptcy. Large conglomerate facilities then purchased these.

This can be seen in Personal Care Homes especially, but also in smaller rural physician groups. New technologies and screenings with smaller bed spaces led to demolishing many small facilities and physician groups. 

Duty of Care-Negligence Cases

However, none of the above reasons will eliminate the Duty of Care necessary to prevent a malpractice or negligence case. It is up to the facility to ensure that this mandate is followed to the letter

This can often lead a major hospital to transfer a patient or a Nursing Facility or Rehab to do the same. Some doctors, especially after Covid, were prodding insurance companies to cover “in-home” rehab, which alleviated some of the overstaffing burdens. 

This occurred mostly in short-term staysand the documentation is present in the Library of Medicine. Doctors did need to sign off on the need for this; however, insurance companies could take a loss. Doctors who did this were well within the Fiduciary Duty of Care. 

Summary- Staff Shortages in Health Facilities

Although it may seem that there is no real winner here in the “after Covid” era, the patient must always come first and care of the utmost quality and diligence. 

If a lack of Duty of Care is suspected, all patients or their families should contact an attorney such as Christian J. Hoey, ESQ, who has won millions in Medical Negligence Cases. Any delay in care should be reported to an attorney also.

With a staff on board that consists of actual physicians and advisors of healthcare facilities, no time should be lost when negligence or delayed care becomes apparent. Hailing out of Paoli, PA. Attorney Hoey does cover a wide berth of PA in his practice, and the initial consultations are always free. 

For more information on all our law services, visit us at or call us at (610) 647-5151.

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

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