California hospital calls on outpatient surgery staff to help in ICU

A Los Angeles-based hospital has reassigned staff from its outpatient same-day surgery departments to its intensive care unit to assist with COVID-19 patients as occupancy soars, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Memorial Hospital of Gardena's 10-bed ICU was at 320 percent occupancy on Jan. 13, according to the report, and the hospital is taking several measures to manage the influx of patients. Staffing shortages are also plaguing the hospital amid the pandemic and it has implemented a "team structure" for staff from the same-day surgery department to help in the ICU while their department is closed.

The same-day surgery staff will assist the ICU nurses while the ICU nurses focus on critical tasks. The hospital has also requested nursing resources from the National Guard and is seeking to boost its staff with traveling nurses.

Advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also pitching in to help in the ICU and emergency department.

Elsewhere in California, Hollister-based Hawkins Memorial Hospital converted its ASC into an ICU on Jan. 11 with 12 beds to handle COVID-19 cases.

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