Tips on Recruiting Anesthesia Providers for Rural Communities

Recruiting anesthesia providers has never been more challenging than it is today. By 2033, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortfall of around 12,500 anesthesiologists, and the current shortage of CRNAs is expected to worsen. Rather than being forced to close operating rooms due to a short-staffed anesthesia department, stay ahead of the curve with these tips.

Compensate Competitively and Creatively

In this market, anesthesiologists and CRNAs can afford to be selective when it comes to their employment. While some may be attracted to the job offer with the highest dollar figure attached to it, newer graduates entering the workforce tend to place a higher priority on work–life balance and other perks. Flexible scheduling, sign-on bonuses, limited or no call and generous vacation allotments may be more attractive to some CRNAs and anesthesiologists than higher salaries. To make employment offers even more attractive, consider thinking outside the box and offering perks specific to your facility and location.

Stay Ahead of Your Staffing Needs

Considering how tight the current anesthesia job market is, the last place you want to find yourself is with multiple openings at once. Be prepared for this scenario by having a readily accessible repertoire of providers who are interested in working at your facility. This requires recruiting even when you do not have any openings. By keeping an accessible list of providers who are already interested and vetted, you will always be prepared to fill any openings as they arise.

Optimize Your Hiring and Onboarding Process

Rolling out the red carpet for potential new hires is important in this market. Be responsive to their questions and treat them with the appropriate sense of urgency. Understand your facility’s credentialing requirements backward and forward, and be prepared to relay these needs to your new hires to ensure a smooth credentialing process. Factor in orientation time to your onboarding process to ensure your operating rooms are never jeopardized for coverage.

Drill Down on Efficiency

Operating-room utilization should be closely monitored by anesthesia and perioperative services. Staffing needs must be constantly measured and allocated as metrics dictate. In fact, unbeknownst to you, your anesthesia department could actually be overstaffed due to inefficiencies. Working with an experienced anesthesia-practice management company like CCI Anesthesia will prevent these risks and ensure that your anesthesia-staff schedule matches the precise needs of your OR utilization.

Be Prepared to Use Locum Tenens

Locum tenens can be hired to fill in when turnover happens. Even though locum compensation costs less than closing ORs, it is still incredibly expensive to use them. If your current anesthesia-practice management company is using locums for extended periods of time, they may not be working hard enough to recruit. This is why it is so important to choose a reputable, experienced anesthesia-practice management company with good rapport among your local anesthesiologist and CRNA communities. When your anesthesia management company offers competitive compensation, treats providers with respect and routinely recruits even when there are no current openings, locum tenens expenses can be entirely avoidable.

Thriving in the Current Anesthesia Market

If your anesthesia department is struggling to stay fully staffed, it may be time to consider a change. Even in rural areas, CCI Anesthesia has an excellent track record of keeping anesthesia departments fully staffed with high-quality anesthesia providers. Our anesthesiologists and CRNAs practice at the top of their skillsets and are capable of working independently. Rather than continuing to worry about the potential of closing operating rooms due to anesthesia staffing shortages, give us a call at 800.494.3948. We can help.