The Podsquad caught up with Jim Davis, Vice President of Nursing at CarolinaEast Medical Center a couple of weeks ago. He shed light on how things are going and what our community can do to help the Hospital’s efforts.
Mr. Davis started out by saying, “We are as busy as we were last January, February. I was looking at some of the numbers today and we’ve seen more COVID positive patients in August, September than we did last January, February. We’ve discharged over 400 COVID patients in the last two months. We are in a better place than we were two or three weeks ago.” At that time, they had thirty-three patients in the hospital admitted with COVID 19. Four were in the ICU. Two were mechanically ventilated.
He continued, “The majority of those patients come in and are treated and do go home. But not all of them. We’ve had…compared to last January, February…we had about 34 patients expire or disease from COVID-19. The last few months we’ve had about 38. So, they’re still getting very sick with COVID. The majority of those are not vaccinated unfortunately. About 80% of the patients that are in the hospital on any given day are are unvaccinated.”
He told us about the patient visitation policy, “It is currently one designated visitor with each patient. So once if you get admitted you have you can designate one person as your visitor and in hopes of decreasing the exposures to our patients and to our staff.”
We asked him about the hospital’s capacity related to the pandemic and he responded, If you compared it to this time last year, we’re seeing about 50 patients more a day in the Emergency Department than we were this time last year.”
The conversation turned to healthcare workers. Mr. Davis stated, “You know, our healthcare workers a year ago, were healthcare heroes, now, everybody’s tired, our community’s tired, we’re tired, our staff are tired. Everybody’s frustrated with the the fact that COVID is still here. And we hoped it would be gone by now…we got really excited back in June or July, when we had an average of two patients in the hospital each day with COVID. And then with the spike…our whole community, everybody’s just tired and frustrated.”
He pleaded to the community if, “Everybody would come together like our community normally does and pull together and work as a team and give each other patience and grace and help support each other. And that’s it’s not just healthcare workers. It’s…restaurant workers and the grocery store workers. I saw the other day I was at a restaurant, and somebody was screaming at their server because they ran out of something. Well, there are so few things that are within our control anymore…you go to the grocery store, and you see shelves that are empty, because they can’t get certain things…clothing that’s not coming into the retail stores. And I just hope that our community will continue to pull together as a group and support each other, give each other grace and love and help us get through this because it will go away. We will get there we are confident science will win. But right now, it’s still very present and very busy.
We talked about vaccines and the Delta variant effecting kids at greater number than last January.
Lastly, we asked if Jim Davis had any parting thoughts for the community? “I would just say, be patient…we’re busy. People are leaving healthcare to go to different things. The great resignation of 2021, I think is maybe a real thing. And so just be patient with your healthcare workers with your servers, but everyone give each other a little grace even at home because you know, everybody outside of work also has their home life and it’s just too stressful and difficult. I think the best way to to support our health care workers is to stay well get your vaccine and try not to contract COVID so that you don’t have to come into the hospital. We really would love to see it go away. And we have an incredible, incredible healthcare staff. They are all working very hard, and they love what they do.
And just like every hurricane, they show up every day and they do their best and this is that hurricane that won’t go away. Five or six days here with Florence was nothing compared to 18 – 19 months of COVID. We are so fortunate to live in such a small area that has such a wonderful group of people at the hospital. I know it wears on you after a while it’s just a lot to do for a long time but we’re so grateful to y’all stuck in the force. We’re glad to be here and if you get a chance just love a healthcare worker.”
UPDATE: One of the two mechanically ventilated patients succumbed to COVID yesterday
Watch the full interview with Jim Davis (start watching on YouTube at the 26:34 minute mark):
By Wendy Card