May 14, 2010
In the article written by Jean O'Brien, a traveling nurse who worked in Ketchikan, she said, "Staff friendliness was, by far, the best I have experienced. The staff-including nurses, managers, midwives and physicians were all very friendly and accommodating to travel nurses. The housing provided was perfect and within walking distance to the hospital."
"Each person entering the hospital is treated like a treasured friend returning home from a long absence," said Patrick J. Branco, CEO and Chief Mission Officer of Ketchikan General Hospital/PeaceHealth. "Patients, families, staff (both permanent and traveling), and visitors are always welcome and warmly greeted. We know travelers tell our story to other communities, resulting in some becoming permanent employees."
KGH typically hires about 30 traveling nurses each year to supplement its local nursing staff. These contract nurses generally stay 14 weeks and are found in every department in the hospital. They interact with patients on the medical/surgical floor, help deliver babies, and care for people in transitional care.
Many hospitals increasingly rely on traveling nurses because of a chronic nationwide nursing shortage. In Alaska, nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations. An additional 2300 registered nurses will be needed in the state by 2016, an increase of over 30%.
Ketchikan General Hospital
is part of PeaceHealth, a WA-based not-for-profit health care
system serving communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, PeaceHealth
has provided medicine and compassionate care to Northwest communities
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