“But the word ‘enough’ today is different from that word then,” said Dr Brett Crandall, director of emergency medicine. “There really weren’t enough, but we got away with it. We used it and it worked.
As COVID invaded, staff moved.
“There has been no massive exodus of resigning employees. They really rose to the challenge, ”said Travis Gregg, COO.
Administrators have learned to work from home. The nurses came to work despite the risk to their personal health. It was in March 2020; vaccines were not available for nine more months. Calhoun said: “We have gone to great lengths to protect people.”
With the spread of COVID, elective surgeries have been canceled. This has left some hospital staff separated from their normal responsibilities, but other duties have been found for them, many of which are related to COVID or its requirements. “As long as people were ready to come to work, there was always a place for them,” Calhoun said.
The hospital also provided financial assistance to families in need, he added.
Shortage of nurses
About 36 mobile nurses were recruited to relieve the overworked staff, but hospitals across the country also sought out itinerant nurses, making recruitment difficult. “There were thousands of contract vacancies and we were all competing to fill positions,” Calhoun said. Kearney was in competition with more glamorous places, prestigious hospitals and facilities in warmer climates. They found itinerant nurses, but it was difficult.