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'People are tired:' West Michigan healthcare workers are moving on amidst staffing shortages

Posted at 10:55 AM, Sep 20, 2021

WEST MICHIGAN — Proof of the COVID-19 vaccination status, staffing shortages and worker burnout are all things on the minds of healthcare workers across West Michigan.

Hospitals are seeing workers leave because of the high demands of the pandemic. Some have also left the area and for better-paying traveling jobs. It's a time of the "great resignation" as COVID-19 cases see a rise in West Michigan.

"Nursing is definitely a top concern, respiratory therapy is also a high concern. And then there are some categories of techs, like surgical techs that are important to operating room functions that are also a concern," said Shannon Striebich, Senior VP at Trinity Health, who operates Mercy Health in Muskegon and Grand Rapids.

Trinity Health is mandating vaccines for all staff.

Out of 24,000 employees in Michigan, 46 have resigned because of the mandate and 17 of those healthcare workers left jobs in West Michigan.

"We haven't had many people make a decision to resign on the heels of that mandate," said Shannon.

As of last week, 75% of staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 and Trinity says they need to retain everyone they can.

The vaccine deadline is Tuesday.