Missouri hospitals ask office workers to help nurses

Missouri hospitals are asking staff members and administrators to take on additional duties to help deal with the current surge in COVID-19 patient numbers.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that hospital workers are being asked to take shifts to help nurses by doing things like grabbing supplies or answering phones, or filling in vacancy in areas such as housekeeping and patient transportation.

“Hospital administrators push wheelchairs, accountants empty trash cans and marketing professionals serve meals – whatever it takes to ensure that our colleagues who provide hands-on patient care can focus on their patients,” said Steve Mackin, Mercy’s new president.

At Mercy South Hospital, Katie Horton has decided to spend her weekends and evenings for the past two weeks scrubbing patient rooms and helping nurses care for patients. Normally, the 49-year-old works from home to help hire people for non-clinical jobs at the hospital.

“It opened my eyes. I work from home. I’ve been very safe through it all, and it’s definitely been a blessing,” she said. “I just felt like it was nice to be able to see through the eyes of the person doing this work.”

COVID-19 cases have declined in the St. Louis area over the past two weeks, but the number of patients in hospitals remains near the highest levels of the pandemic.

“Our hospitals remain full, our emergency departments are full, and there’s not a lot of room in our (intensive care units) either,” said Dr. Alex Garza, co-director of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task. Strength. “So while it is improving, many of our employees continue to be absent due to COVID or because they are caring for a loved one or a child whose school has unfortunately closed due to from COVID.”

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