Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa is delaying some nonemergency surgeries because COVID-19 has created “severe hospital overcrowding." Hillcrest Healthcare System officials are evaluating elective procedures on a “case-by-case basis to ensure adequate resources and staffing.” Saint Francis Health System hospitals haven’t limited or postponed nonemergency surgeries yet, but officials “assess this every day.”
Across OU Health hospitals, there is a 19% nursing vacancy rate and a turnover rate of 47%.
LaWanna Halstead, an Oklahoma Hospital Association vice president, said
staffing is a major concern because the hospital industry has lost medical professionals not just to COVID deaths but burnout, too. She said hospitals in Grove, Miami and Tahlequah are full as the hospital community works to handle the rapid influx without the leeway offered by an emergency order from the governor.
Dr. Ryan Parker at Saint Francis said animosity is also affecting physicians. She’s encountered anger in the ER just for inquiring about a patient’s vaccination status. “We went very quickly from being ‘Heroes work here’ to people getting angry with us for asking them to get vaccines and stuff like that.”
Dr. Mary Clarke, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, said short-staffed pediatric wards are filling up at hospitals, resulting in children being taken 100 miles or 200 miles from home for treatment. Clarke has said COVID-related isolation and quarantines are affecting health care workers who, like those in other work settings, then have to cover for their colleagues.
Owasso Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine has issued time-sensitive warnings on social media about the lack of pediatric ICU beds available in the state, with some young Oklahoma patients being sent to Texas.
Source : https://tulsaworld.com/news/local/oklahoma-hospitals-arent-feeling-relief-yet-as-covid-19-admissions-start-to-fall--/article_e30044ec-1560-11ec-91b9-9fe0f0a622b0.html322