Page 10 - Work Force February 2022
P. 10

Omicron surge:
CSEA memb
Respiratory therapist: ‘We’re all exhausted and burnt BUFFALO — The recent surge in cases due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals across New York yet CSEA members are still on on the front lines providing services Kristina Landy a a a a a a a a CSEA Erie County Local member and and senior respiratory therapist at at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) is is on on the front line caring for hospitalized COVID patients Landy provides direct care for patients patients who require respiratory treatment including managing ventilators high flow nasal cannula administration and other other breathing treatments among many other other job functions “The biggest challenge we face right now is the the sheer number of patients requiring beds in in the the hospital ” Landy said “While ICU admissions are down and and cases may
be be a a a a a a a a a little less severe the number of COVID cases requiring treatment is up and those patients are staying longer which has more than doubled the number of beds needed ” Combined with staffing shortages due to staf staff illnesses retirements and leaving their
jobs for other reasons ECMC has become overwhelmed with patients and providing quality care has proven challenging “We’re all all exhausted and and burnt out you see it in everyone’s faces ” said Landy “We’ve had five five to to to six people out for five five to to to 10 days at the same time due to to to COVID in our department of 40 [workers] which is a a a a a a a significant amount ” “Any day you walk into the the the ER there are gurneys all all down the the the hallway and and nowhere to put anybody ” said Landy “Earlier during the the pandemic cases were manageable and and and could be be be sent to one floor but with the the number of cases coming in in in that’s become impossible meaning COVID is is on every floor of the the the hospital This puts staff and other patients at at more risk despite the the the rigorous safety protocols in place ” Landy noted that Erie County Medical Center’s emergency room was expanded shortly before the the pandemic but even with greater capacity there are 30 to 40 people waiting in in in the the ER for a a a a a a a bed which backs everything up Patients who require longer term care occupy beds that are needed which Landy noted forces decisions to to be be be made about who who needs to to to stay and and who who should be be discharged and and less likely to to return for more care Landy said ambulance crews were brought in from Long Island to address a a a a a a a a a a shortage of EMTs At times ambulance crews could end up up waiting up up to 12 hours in in the the emergency room with patients who required care because they couldn’t be be left alone “I would say the vast majority of patients coming in in in in are unvaccinated ” said Landy “Get your vaccine! It’s the the best way to avoid the hospital ” Landy also expressed the the hope that people will will continue to to go into health care so there will will be more help down the the road when it is needed “The most important thing I would want the public to to know right now now is that we’re doing our very very best to to help everyone but we’re so so short staffed and and have so so many more patients that it takes longer longer and and longer longer to to get to to people who need our assistance ” Landy Landy said “Please be and remember we want taking far longer right now ” At Valley View survival mode
GOSHEN — It’s been nearly two years since COVID-19 first hit the United States and staff at at nursing homes are still grappling with short-staffing and quarantines while striving to deliver quality care At Orange County’s Valley View Center for Health and Rehabilitation the recent COVID spike resulted in in in dozens of staff being quarantined “Staffing was an an issue even before COVID but the workers providing patient care are are truly in in survival mode
at this point ” said Orange County Unit President Denise Fuchs State officials recently dispatched
the the National Guard to a a a a a a a a a number of of nursing homes across the the state including Valley Valley View View At Valley Valley View View the National Guard members are assisting with administering COVID-19 tests to workers and taking certain patient care tasks off the the plates of of the the already busy certified nursing assistants Orange County Local President Rosemarie Kukys a a a a a a a registered nurse at Valley View has been one of the staff staff assigned to handle staff staff COVID testing “The two National Guard members who are there in in in administrative roles have been helping with the the COVID testing which has made that a a a a a a a a whole lot easier and the medics are doing things like getting our male residents shaved and helping get get people out of bed ” said Kukys “They can’t do everything but we’re glad to have those extra pairs of hands ” In an an effort to to aid worker recruitment county legislators approved a a a a a proposal to to to offer a a a a a signing bonus bonus to to new employees as as well as as a a a a referral bonus bonus for existing county employees who recruit new colleagues CSEA leaders have been in talks with legislators to to approve hazard pay for essential county county workers using funds the county county received
10 The Work Force February 2022 February 2022 The Work Force 

   8   9   10   11   12