Colorado program fights healthcare worker shortage

Colorado program fights healthcare worker shortage

September 1, 2022:- According to KDVR Denver news, most industries sense the pinch of labor shortages, and healthcare is no anomaly. Colorado could be short of registered nurses, mental health professionals, and more in the forthcoming years.  

A recent report accomplished by Mercer predicted that Colorado will be short 54,000 healthcare workers by 2026.

DaVita collaborated with other primary healthcare employers in the state and a few local community colleges to fight the soaring labor shortage by developing a new program called the Colorado Health Careers Collaborative Academy.

The goal is to contain underserved students and those in rural areas ages 16-24 curious about pursuing a career in healthcare. During a six-week session, participants are offered a taste of four of the fastest-growing positions in healthcare.

The expectancy is that it will contribute to the education-to-employment channel in a way that meaningfully increases economic mobility in Colorado and creates potential through career development and educational possibilities.

“The hands-on [lessons] actually offer you full-on experience in the equipment actually responds almost the same as a human body but the discrepancies they obviously have no feeling, and that’s okay,” Briana Contreras, a student at the academy, communicated.

“At the same time that we are creating these pathways for students, we’re also expecting to help close those workforce gaps that are that our healthcare workforce is undergoing right now. And also, we wish to, in the same turn, diversify the workforce as well,” Nafeesa Lynn, a project coordinator for Colorado Health Careers Collaborative Academy at Community College of Denver, expressed.

To make sure the talents students learn can give them a leg up on following future healthcare careers, part of the curriculum was developed by a DaVita employee who began as a patient care technician herself.    

“I performed as a PCT and fell absolutely in love with healthcare and then dialysis especially. So went back to become a nurse. I worked as a nurse and then transitioned into a facility administrator position to where I just kind of like managing my own facility and then currently I am on the national team as a director of nursing services,” Kristin Sayles stated. “So really I think that again, this partnership is significant because it opens that door, right? And then once these people are kind of in DaVita, there are so many diverse career opportunities available for them to develop upon.”

“It offered me a step ahead of what I was getting myself into and I really enjoyed that,” Contreras articulated.

This program is a virtual and hands-on lab experience sponsored by different healthcare employers like DaVita.