Q&A - Nurse Redeployment into COVID ICU
We will talk with two nurses about their journey of redeployment into the COVID ICU units. These nurses are from different areas of the country so we will get perspective from different vantage points, but those on the same mission.
Becky Williams, RN, BSN, CCRN, RNC-NIC
Works full time in NICU and recently left flight transport to transition right into COVID ICU. The hospital jumped from 72 ICU beds to 109 ICU beds caring for both covid and non covid patients. Voluntarily took the COVID reassignment, unlike many of her colleagues who were not so happy about the shift.
"I Worked in a level 1 Neuro ICU for 2.5, left 4.5 years ago due to burnout. Went to NICU in the same hospital but started flight nursing (mostly long distance transport -Mexico to Canada, etc) and floating to PICU so I would have the critical care skills for all ages. Quit flying in December and covid hit. Volunteered to float to the adult ICUs since I figured I could work a vent and run drips. Now a full time surge nurse in the trauma ICU but floating to all the units (with overflow we jumped from 72 ICU beds to 109 ICU beds) caring for both covid and non covid patients. All the other surge nurses with ICU experience were involuntarily redeployed and many were displeased with how this all went down."
Pam Conyers PICU RN
Currently a PICU RN at a large, 660+ bed major metropolitan hospital where she’s worked since 1987. Mid-March their hospital was transitioned into a COVID care facility and within 24 hours all pediatric patients were transferred to another hospital.
"I am a PICU RN for Swedish. Mid-March of this year, the Governor of Washington (Jay Inslee) made a plan for the health and welfare of the people of Washington. This included asking all hospitals to maximize their ability to care for (mostly adult) patients with Co-Vid 19. We were notified on a Monday am, and by that evening, our pediatric and our PICU were empty and beginning their transformation into adult units. Our transport team and others had moved our kids to regional children's hospitals. For several weeks, our staff has been working as RN extenders in "Co-Vid ICU and Co-Vid floors" We also helped as "donners and doffers" on those units and in labor and delivery. For those caregivers with health concerns or older (60 and up), staff were needed @ the lobby entrance to assist patients, the public and delivery personnel find their way (or NOT!)."