Hospitals in ND nearing capacity

COVID protocols at North Dakota hospitals
COVID protocols at North Dakota hospitals(Jamestown Regional Medical Center)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many hospitals in North Dakota are nearing capacity. Even though the number of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 is down compared to when case numbers peaked in 2020, healthcare professionals say a return of other patients to the hospital are putting stress on healthcare systems in North Dakota.

“As we move into respiratory illness season, it’s not unusual for us to have three quarters of our census have something to do with a respiratory illness that’s not COVID. If you do all of that plus you do people who are coming in for things like chest pain or pneumonia or something like that, then your capacity to be able to take those COVID patients, if we continue to spike, decreases greatly,” said Mike Delfs, Jamestown Regional Medical Center president and CEO.

Another factor putting stress on North Dakota hospitals is a worker shortage. Healthcare professionals Your News Leader spoke to say they need more staff — not just nurses and doctors, but support staff as well. They say one contributing factor to fewer workers is burnout from the pandemic that’s lasted a year and a half.

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