Evansville doctor discusses preparations for potential influx of patients

Evansville doctor discusses preparations for potential influx of COVID-19 patients

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - For the staff at Ascension St. Vincent, preparation is essential when so much is unpredictable during the era of COVID-19.

Dr. Heidi Dunniway with Ascension St. Vincent says they have plenty of space for an influx of patients. However, if hospital officials become overwhelmed, they have certain areas that can help accommodate.

“We have areas in the ER that regularly care for those patients, so there’s not the unusual there," Dr. Dunniway said. “There are areas in the surgical and preoperative areas as well that routinely care for critically ill patients."

While spacing is one thing, staffing is another. Dr. Dunniway says much of their staff is ready to adapt and change when needed.

“We have cross-trained a lot of staff during this process," she said. “That actually started early in the pandemic. It was something that we all worked on and anticipated that people may need to step out of their usual roles, and so we wanted to prepare everyone as much as possible for that."

Whether or not they will need to utilize any of these preparations, only time will tell. In the meantime, Dr. Dunniway is confident that health workers inside the hospital are ready.

“That adaptability is an incredible asset," she said. “And we really do see that in our universities, in our patient care techs, our respiratory therapists, our physicians. Really everyone in the hospital. Through environmental services, dietary - we have really seen our teams step up and meet this challenge."

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.