The newly identified coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly infectious respiratory illness and pandemic that has caused over 10,502 deaths worldwide. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is critical for healthcare facilities to continue to provide care for all patients, irrespective of COVID-19 infection status, at the appropriate level (e.g., home-based care, outpatient, urgent care, emergency room, or hospitalization).
As scientists are still working towards discovering a vaccine, healthcare organizations around the world are overcrowded, understaffed and scrambling to accommodate an increasing number of patients who are already suffering from the disease. Learn about the challenges hospitals are facing and how health workers around the world are taking action to combat COVID-19.
Hospitals are Understaffed
Now, more than ever, America needs more nurses, emergency medicine doctors, hospitalists, infectious disease specialists and other clinicians. Healthcare organizations across the country have been taking several steps to meet the rising influx of patients suffering from coronavirus. In King County, Washington, the county has partnered with the CDC and hired local staffing agencies like NuWest HealthCare, to satisfy the large demand for more nurses in a very short period of time.
What other countries are doing: In the United Kingdom, the government is considering drafting medical students. According to an article on PULSE, the government has given thought to extending the practicing rights of foundation year-one doctors and final year medical students, so they can assist the National Health Service in battling the coronavirus pandemic. The government is preparing for a worst-case scenario where 80% of the population becomes infected with the virus and 20% of the workforce is off work.
Hospitals Need More Space
A rising number of patients are entering healthcare facilities as COVID-19 continues to spread. Many hospitals are running out of space to treat the overwhelming number of patients. According to a 2018 survey from American Hospital Association, the United States has around 924,107 beds available, which isn’t enough for the 214 million Americans estimated to contract COVID-19. Hospitals around the country are still struggling to find solutions to where they should place sick patients in need.
What other countries are doing: According to CNN, Italy has reported a death toll of 3,405. Over 25,000 infections have been reported in Lombardy, Italy, and doctors have suggested an immediate increase in COVID-19 lab testing and the creation of large facilities just for infected patients. They emphasized the importance of having organized healthcare systems in collaborative emergency networks and strict enforcement of community quarantine.
Health Workers are Contracting COVID-19
Health workers are on the frontlines of this highly contagious virus and since it is known to spread with person-to-person contact, it is imperative that they are protected. Due to the rapid growth of COVID-19, hospitals have been experiencing not only a shortage of space in facilities, but also a shortage of respirators, facemasks, gowns and other necessary supplies. As a result, health workers are contracting COVID-19.
What other countries are doing: Medical facilities like St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland have been preparing to replace sick staff by compiling a list of interested nurses and healthcare assistants, support staff, administrative staff and other medical specialities.
In the United States alone, there have been over 32,946 confirmed cases and 417 deaths. As we prepare for COVID-19 to spread, it is helpful to know how the world is coping. With the support of our courageous health workers, there’s hope in knowing that we have a fighting chance at defeating this virus and ridding ourselves of this pandemic, once and for all.
At Katon Direct, we are inspired by, and grateful for, the courage and resilience of all health workers that are on the frontlines. We believe that the best way to face this challenge is by working together to help those that need it most. In that spirit, we are offering immediate communication services (live calls, emails, digital ads, direct mailers, etc.) to help you obtain additional staffing immediately. If you need staffing support, please contact us at sayhello@katondirect.