standing westerly hospital sign.JPG

Sun file photo

Job seekers will have an opportunity to apply for a wide range of positions at both Westerly and L+M hospitals this week during two employment fairs.

The two hospitals, which are both part of the Yale New Haven Health system, will accept applications for a host of positions including nurses, certified nurse's assistants, phlebotomists, medical technology specialists, food and nutrition specialists, environmental services, sterile processing, patient access, and public safety. Full-time, part-time and per diem positions are all available.

In short, the two hospitals are interested in meeting "anyone who could possible work in a hospital," said Karen Da Cruz, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at the two hospitals.

The fair for Westerly Hospital is scheduled for Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m. at The Towers, 25 Ocean Road in  Narragansett, and the fair for L+M Hospital fair is scheduled for Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Holiday Inn, 35 Governor Winthrop Boulevard in New London.

Hiring managers and talent acquisition staff will be on hand at both fairs to meet with applicants. Interviews can be conducted during the fairs, Da Cruz said.

The fairs will be the first in-person ones the hospitals have conducted since before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

"We're hoping people will come down and learn what we have to offer in terms of benefits and pay and what sets us apart from other community hospitals," Da Cruz said.

Like many industries and job sectors nationwide, said both hospitals have more job vacancies now than prior to the pandemic, Da Cruz said. She attributed nursing vacancies to the lure of high paying traveling nurse jobs. Benefits that had been available for unemployed workers may be playing a role and in some cases employees decided to retire early rather than work during the pandemic, Da Cruz said.

Applications for non-nursing jobs have started to pickup recently, she said.

"That is a great sign for us and we are very hopeful for that," Da Cruz said.

Both hospitals are following state regulations for COVID-19 vaccines. Employees must have received at least one dose of a vaccine to be hired at L+M Hospital and employees must be fully vaccinated to start a position at Westerly Hospital. Da Cruz said vaccine policies have not had a significant effect on staffing levels.

"Westerly Hospital and L+M have seen less than a handful leave their jobs because of vaccines," Da Cruz said.

Throughout the entire Yale New Haven system, which also includes hospitals in New Haven, Bridgeport, and Greenwich, Conn., a total of 94 employees were terminated for non-compliance with COVID-19 vaccine regulations. A few Westerly Hospital employees who refused to be vaccinated for religious reasons were terminated. Religious exemptions, under state law, are not allowed in Rhode Island.

Those who are interested in working at Westerly Hospital but cannot attend the job fair can call 401-348-3623 for more information. Those who are interested but cannot attend the job fair may call 860-442-0711, ext. 372, for more information.

This article was edited at 11:45 a.m. on Oct. 26 to correct information on the number of employees who lost their jobs for failure to comply with COVID-19 vaccine regulations.

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