New Hope Nursing Home Receives Help From MN National Guard
A New Hope nursing home is getting help from the Minnesota National Guard to address staffing shortages caused by the pandemic’s toll.
About 30 Minnesota National Guard members started working at North Ridge Health and Rehab on Monday. Governor Tim Walz recently activated the Guard to help deal with severe staffing shortages at long-term care facilities.
“Really, the last three, four months have been when it started to hit us a little harder,” said Austin Blilie, vice president of operations at North Ridge Health and Rehab.
The nursing home is one of the first long-term care facilities to receive assistance from the Minnesota National Guard. Officials at the New Hope facility say they are grateful for the extra hands on deck, especially since some of their staff have been working for long hours. Many of the Guard members are trained as certified nursing assistants. They will perform a variety of duties.
“They’ll be doing everything from helping make beds in the morning, help feeding our residents, help them get up in the morning,” explained Blilie.
New Hope Nursing Home Staff Down 10%
The stress from COVID-19 took a toll on North Ridge Health staff. Many experienced burnout and took other jobs, causing a staffing shortage. The nursing home is down about 10 percent of its staff.
“Our staff they wear full PPE for that entire shift, and it’s just so hard, physically, to deal with that day in and day out, and so that has pushed people to different industries and different lines of work,” said Blilie.
The Minnesota National Guard members will help out at North Ridge Health and Rehab for about two weeks.