Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bayhealth creates program to offer healthcare workers more schedule flexibility

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Bayhealth is adopting a staffing model to adjust to changing healthcare worker needs.

Bayhealth’s Part-Time Weekend Program is an effort to address burnout and staffing challenges spurred by the pandemic.

“We wanted to implement a program that would allow for some of the staff that we potentially lost due to the pandemic who may have had to go home and stay with their children and/or home school or had to just change their lifestyle because of the fact that we are in this pandemic and a crisis,” said Bayhealth’s vice president of human resources and the chief diversity officer Shana Ross.

She says the program creates flexibility for workers at Bayhealth’s two main facilities and dozens of outpatient facilities, while offering benefits often only available to full-time workers.

The credentials (to participate in the program) include being an RN, a respiratory therapist, a physical therapist, or an LPN or a CNA," Ross said. "It’s open to all professions across our organization."

In addition to retaining staff, Ross says the program could boost Bayhealth’s workforce by about 13%.

She says many full-time staffers asked during the pandemic if Bayhealth could find a way for them to work part-time but maintain full time benefits, like paid time off, sick time, medical coverage, and a 401(K) retirement plan.

She notes that 65% of Bayhealth’s full-time staff has been affected by COVID. 15% needed time to care for an ailing family member. Another 15% had to be home to care for their children and 35% missed time because they had COVID.

Bayhealth started signing people up for the weekend program two weeks ago.

It also recently hired 45 people during a job fair to help deal with staffing shortages.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.