- Associated Press - Sunday, July 5, 2015

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - The shortage of certified nursing assistants, especially in nursing homes, in Wyoming is reaching crisis stage, state Department of Health Director Tom Forslund said.

“Medicaid is saying we need to see if we can assist someway, somehow,” Forslund said. “We’ve reached out to the Department of Workforce Services to see if we can get them to partner with us to focus on CNAs for nursing homes. It’s very preliminary.”

A shortage in health care professionals has become a nationwide problem, said Hayley McKee, spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.

The availability of CNAs for the Sage View Care Center in Sweetwater County has “ebbed and flowed,” Administrator Melissa Elliott told the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner (https://bit.ly/1M4zwno).

“It’s either feast or famine,” she said. “We’ve always been able to help supplement our nursing staff with CNA classes, but we can’t hold those classes anymore.”



Ever since the center pushed through a corporate closure, Elliott said it has not been certified. It would have to go through the certification process all over again.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has been working with Western Wyoming Community College in an effort to supplicate their need, said Deb Gaspar, hospital chief nursing officer.

Each time a CNA course opens at WWCC, it seems to fill up fast, Gaspar said. The response leaves a generous pool of applicants for the hospital.

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Information from: Rock Springs (Wyo.) Rocket-Miner, https://www.rocketminer.com

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