Shortage of home care nurses keeping babies from going home with their parents
MINNEAPOLIS -- The care crisis is changing the lives of Minnesota families. The nursing shortage has even kept some parents from bringing their babies home.
Jamie Craven and his twin brother were born at Masonic Children's Hospital last year.
"They were born eight weeks early with severe lung problems," said Katie Craven. "Unfortunately, Tommy wasn't able to overcome all of their complexities and he passed away at five months in July."
Jamie has been thriving thanks to a tracheotomy that's helping his breathing and development. In fact, he's been ready to go home since September.
"Because of the trach, he has to have somebody awake with him at all times. We need 20-24-hour care so that I can work and, you know, also sleep," said Katie Craven. "We could have been doing things like Thanksgiving and Christmas at home if only we had the nursing."
The Cravens aren't the only family going through this.
"Right now, our institution, I believe, has about 13 patients that could be home being taken care of by a home care nurse," said Deb Lunak, Care Coordinator at Masonic Children's Hospital. "Those are ICU level beds that are taken away from other kiddos that might need it."
Leaving babies like Jamie, stuck in the hospital.
Governor Tim Walz's budget includes a five-dollar-an-hour raise for personal care assistants but some say that doesn't go far enough to fill the staffing shortage.
That budget is awaiting action in the legislature.
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