September 8, 2021
A total of 48 temporary clinical staff – nurses, respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants, and paramedics – are joining the Sky Lakes team to help support the demands of a dramatically increased number of COVID-19 patients and a concurrent surge of non-COVID patients.
The personnel are from a program sponsored by the state of Oregon in collaboration with the federal government. The temporary staff completed their orientation and onboarding today.
The trained healthcare professionals will help relieve the burden on Sky Lakes staff caused by an unusually large number of patients – COVID-19 and other patients -- at the medical center.
“We are grateful that the state is able to provide these resources to help us meet the increased demands of a significant surge in patients, especially COVID-19 patients,” said Ron Woita, RN, the Sky Lakes Vice President for Patient Care Services.
The infusion of qualified personnel will help Sky Lakes leaders and current staff prepare to deal with a potentially weeks-long surge of COVID-19 patients, he added.
The medical center’s two isolation units have had as many as 24 COVID-19 patients at a time for the past three weeks. That number accounts for about a fourth of the total patient census many days. Sky Lakes modeling predicts number COVID-19 inpatients at a time could double by later this month and continuing into October.