Rising patient numbers leads to hires at health center in Kittanning
A rising number of patients will mean more nursing jobs in the Armstrong County Health Center in Kittanning.
The health center had 82 patients in June and has had 100 in July, said Daniel Lucovich, the county's director of human resources. As a result, six certified nursing assistants, two licensed practical nurses and two registered nurses will be hired during the next several weeks.
The center is a 115-bed nursing facility on South McKean Street and has 130 employees, including 39 CNAs, 18 LPNs and eight RNs, Lucovich said.
State law requires one nurse on duty for every 20 residents and at least two nurses on duty at all times.
“We've had to stretch our current employees the last two weekends to cover all of our shifts,” Lucovich said. “We've had some people go on long-term absences for illnesses or surgery, and an influx of summer vacations that has made staffing tricky with the high amount of residents.
“But we've never been too short to meet the residents' needs. We've just had people working longer days.”
Lucovich credits Affinity Health Services' marketing for the spike in residents.
“They have been working with a lot of area hospitals and different avenues to make more people aware of what we have to offer,” Lucovich said. “That marketing push has helped the health center turn around.”
In November, the county signed a three-year contract with Indiana-based Affinity to manage the center. The company is being paid $173,000 in the first year. What it gets paid in the last two years of the contract will be based on patient population.
Until the hiring is complete, the Armstrong County Commissioners approved plans to work with Accountable Healthcare Staffing, a Baldwin-based agency providing temporary medical staffing, said Beth Costanzo, director of nursing at the health center.
The agency provides registered nurses for $47 per hour on weekdays, and $48 per hour on the weekends. It provides certified nursing assistants for $25 per hour, weekdays, or $25.50 per hour on the weekends, and $35 per hour for licensed practical nurses any day.
“This isn't preferable. We've never had to work with a staffing company before, but they will have people available whenever we need,” Costanzo said.
Before agreeing to terms with Accountable Healthcare Staffing, Costanzo said administrators met with the nurses' union, who agreed to bring in the temporary staffing on an as-needed basis.
“These people will only be called after we've exhausted our existing staff and offered them overtime,” Costanzo said. “It's really a last resort. Hopefully, we won't need to call them in.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ford City considers broadcast, newsletter
- Traffic restrictions in place as road work continues near new Armstrong school
- Churches band together in Kittanning to fight hunger worldwide
- Saber pride booming in Ford City’s final year
- Bank in former Kittanning Foodland open while looking for new location
- Groups traveling uncharted waters to open Allegheny, Monongahela locks
- Summer Jam returns to Ford City to benefit nonprofit
- Dogs brighten day at Ford City assisted-living facility