H+H Briefs

State still hurting for medical professionals

Nearly one in five job vacancies in the state is in the health care industry, according to a job vacancy report published by Washington’s Employment Security Department.

The report is based on a survey taken in October. The health care industry accounted for almost 20 percent of the job vacancies statewide, the largest of any industry.

In-demand positions include registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses, nursing aides, orderlies and attendants.

Washington’s budget includes $3 million to fund innovative partnerships to train incumbent health care workers to become certified registered nurses.

Statewide, the number of job openings across all professions – 73,180 total – was about 20 percent lower than the year before.

SWMC leaders join local boards

Two leaders from Southwest Washington Medical Center have accepted board positions with the Portland/Vancouver Chapter of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Rainy Atkins, chief operating officer at Southwest, will  serve as vice president of the AHA/ASA board of directors. Robert Djergaian, MD, physician director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services at Southwest, will also serve as a member of the board for AHA/ASA.

In addition to his role with the AHA/ASA, Dr. Djergaian will also serve this year as vice chairman of the board of directors of Qualis Health, a regional Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) based in Seattle.

SWMC implements a sign language access program

Southwest Washington Medical Center has implemented a language access program designed to improve the patient experience for those using American Sign Language. Following the success of a pilot video interpreting program at the hospital’s Memorial Urgent Care Center, Southwest Washington has permanently implemented the Language Line Video Interpreting Service by Language Line Services, providing connection to a live, certified ASL interpreter through a portable video monitor. 

Patients have access to video-based ASL interpreters 24 hours a day, every day.

Language Line Services developed the first video interpreting service in 2004. Since then, hospitals and clinics in more than 20 states are using the system. In addition to ASL, medically certified interpreters are available via video in Spanish.

Language Line Services interpreters are specially trained and medically certified to understand medical situations and terminology.