HONOLULU (KHON2) — Palolo Chinese Home is seeking candidates to fill a variety of positions as the country experiences a shortage of healthcare workers.

“This pandemic has been tough for all,” said Lauren Kagihara, Human Resources Director at Palolo Chinese Home. “With an overall shortage of qualified healthcare workers and ever-changing guidance, there have been a lot of adjustments that the staff have had to navigate, often working double shifts days in a row.”

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Kagihara adds that early retirement of experienced nurses and Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs), smaller graduating classes for the next generation and the ongoing pandemic are contributing factors.

“There is also stiff competition from more glamorous medical environments, and absenteeism from the virus, creating the perfect storm for worker shortage,” she explained.

This weekend, Palolo Chinese Home is holding a two-day job and volunteer recruitment fair to fill a variety of positions, including certified nurses, home care and activity aides, drivers, dishwashers and other roles.

“When most people think of working in healthcare, hospitals are first to come to mind. We’re hoping that this job fair will attract interested job seekers looking for a rewarding career,” said Kagihara.

Kagihara says their staff face many of the same challenges found in other industries, such as parents who have to deal with childcare issues when a class must quarantine.

“But it’s not all negative,” she said. “The staff-resident relationship is closer than ever since visitors are not as frequent. Our team has pulled together because they know this situation won’t last forever and they need everyone’s cooperation to weather the storm.”

Kagihara says families are more sympathetic to the challenges they face at work.

“People have also been reminded of how precious life really is, and we have seen that in the quality of the visits with our residents,” she said.

Visitors must complete their COVID-19 questionnaire and screen their temperature upon entry. They’re asked to wear gloves, gowns, a surgical mask and face shield before going in to see a resident. Visits should be scheduled beforehand and will be held outdoors whenever possible.

Palolo Chinese Home also offers virtual visitations through Facetime and Skype.

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If you’re interested in working or volunteering at the facility, stop by on Friday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on Saturday, Jan. 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is highly encouraged by calling 808-564-5235 or emailing HR@Palolohome.org; however, walk-ins are also accepted.