JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The new NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital opened its doors a little more than a month ago.
For the past three years, the hospital has grown its staff to be prepared for this moment.
They have hired more than 450 employees for the hospital and 100 employees for the clinic side, and they are still looking for more.
CEO Darrell King said they are searching for more physicians for the clinic positions.
Once the facility finds them, it has to hire four to five more people to support them. However, King said these vacancies have not affected their patients.
"Patient care won't be compromised," King said. "The patients won't know the difference. They'll still have someone to take care of them."
King said the hospital has had to call in nurses and other support staff for help, but only occasionally.
"Typically, we start every day with the people we need to take care of the patient and that won't change," King said.
However, King said they want to improve patient care even more. They plan to grow their satellite clinics beyond the ones they have now in Paragould, Trumann and Brookland.
"Part of our goal is to improve access for the patient so they don't have to wait. And so we really want to make that possible," King said.
To do that, the new hospital is hiring more physicians and other specialists to support them.
"It may be a nurse that assists them in the clinic, it could eventually be a front desk person or even someone to do the billing," King said.
King said these employees will be essential to keep up with the growing volume of patients.
"We have visitors every day, either hospitalized patients or patients coming to see their physicians, and guests that come along with them," King said. "So there's a lot of traffic."
King said it is really a win-win for both parties.
"We settled in pretty quickly so we've been able to take care of people and I think we're kind of in a normal environment now. Hopefully patients will notice that," King said. "For employees, these are sustainable jobs so they're not as likely to come and go. So it's good employment opportunities for people."
The new hospital now has more than 1,000 employees on site. If you would like to be an employee, visit the NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital website.