Photo courtesy of Pioneers Memorial Hospital

Local healthcare district receives additional staff to support recent COVID-19 surge

BRAWLEY — Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District officials announced the arrival of support staff from the National Guard to Pioneers Memorial Hospital May 22.

According to the PMH release, the local hospital was allocated a total of 14 registered nurses and emergency medical technicians, who will augment the efforts Pioneers employees already placed.

The support staff went through an onboarding process on Thursday, May 21, and by the next day was assisting in the local COVID-19 pandemic.

“The onboarding process was identical to how we onboard registry staff,” explained PMHD Chief Nursing Officer Kristi Gillespie.

“The team arrives with all required paperwork; short orientation is provided, and the staff has a day to shadow current staff to learn the electronic medical record.”

According to the release, the support staff is anticipated to remain at PMH for the next two to four weeks while the hospital builds up its staffing to meet the needs of the community.

PMHD announced May 20, the facility itself was prepped to handle more patients yet primarily needed additional staff to accommodate the sudden increases.

“With the National Guard’s experienced nurses and medics, we are able to staff more beds and keep patients closer to home,” noted PMHD CEO Larry Lewis.

“Even though visitations are restricted, it still helps families and patients know they’re not far away.”

The added staff will be assisting patients in the hospital’s Intensive Care and Definitive Observation units as well as the Emergency and Medical/ Surgical departments, according to the release. Lewis also noted that in the past months, the Imperial County saw an increase in COVID-19 positive patients within 8 to 12 days after nationally recognized days, including Easter and Mother’s Day.

With Memorial Day around the corner and the hospital’s staffing resources already stretched thin, the district reiterated the importance of physical/ social distancing and standard hand hygiene practices.

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