Mercy Health Muskegon makes call for nurses amid COVID-19 surge

Mercy Health Muskegon (Mich.) is recruiting nurses to provide support amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases, the hospital confirmed to Becker's Nov. 17. 

Open positions are for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses with a focus on critical care, intermediate care and medical surgical specialties.

"The number of nurses needed depends on how high COVID numbers continue to surge," said Kim Maguire, RN, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for Mercy Health Muskegon.

"We believe that it is likely we will need more than the nurses we have coming onboard within the next two weeks, and we continue to recruit," she said.

Newly hired nurses will work in bedside and support roles at Mercy Campus in Muskegon and Mercy Health Muskegon's new COVID-19 care site at Hackley Campus. 

The call for new nurses comes as Mercy Health Muskegon grapples with a rise in hospitalizations. The hospital normally admits about 250 patients for issues unrelated to COVID-19, Ms. Maguire said. The hospital had admitted 148 patients COVID-19 as of Nov. 17, according to Ms. Maguire and hospital CMO Justin Grill, DO. About 32 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the spring.  

The hospital has surged to more than 50 percent of its typical volume over three to four weeks, making staffing exceptionally challenging, Ms. Maguire said.

Exacerbating that challenge is the 85 Mercy Health Muskegon employees out sick with COVID-19, according to Dr. Grill.

He said Mercy Health Muskegon anticipated such a surge in conjunction with flu season and prepared by increasing availability of personal protective equipment. He said the hospital has been fit-testing employees for N95 masks throughout the pandemic and has started to use its surge plans. Mercy Health Muskegon is working with the state and other health systems in West Michigan to determine alternative care sites, he said. 

The new COVID-19 care unit at Hackley Campus is set to open Nov. 19 to treat stable COVID-19 patients who require extended hospitalization.

  

More articles on workforce:
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VA clinicians can practice across state lines, interim rule affirms 

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