Managers at the National Hospital of Iceland, who have a background in nursing, have announced that they are prepared to work as substitute nurses during summer vacations due to lack of staff.
“Managers and department directors will do more clinical work than usual. Managers who are educated as nurses will put on the uniform and work as nurses this summer,” managing director of nursing Anna Stefánsdóttir told Fréttabladid.
According to Stefánsdóttir, days in which patients can stay at the hospital will be reduced by 14 percent this summer, compared to ten percent last summer, and nine out of 18 operating rooms will be closed.
“This increased recession is first and foremost caused by the fact that it is very difficult to get people to replace the nurses in summer,” Stefánsdóttir said.
“There are about 3,000 employees working in nursing at the hospital and everyone is entitled to summer vacations in June, July and August. It is impossible to uphold full operations while everyone is on summer vacation,” she added.
Stefánsdóttir said the hospital would prioritize patients with acute illnesses in summer, while others may have to wait until fall to get treated.
Doctors have also added shifts to their schedule to help solve the problem. “Our shifts have been reorganized, including mine, and I’m a director in this department,” said Reynir Tómas Geirsson, senior physician in the birth department.