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    U.S. Army medical response team arrives in Saginaw, Michigan



    Story by Spc. Ty Baggerly 

    Defense Department Support to FEMA COVID-19       

    SAGINAW, Mich. -- Sitting in the intensive care unit at Covenant Hospital, U.S. Army Capt. Eric Owen and U.S. Army Capt. Mark Johnson, both ICU nurses assigned to the 214th Medical Detachment in Fort Bliss, Texas, are tasked with observing heart monitors from the nurses’ station. Watching closely for any sign of change, they are always prepared to act.
    As part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID Task Force, this is the pair’s second assignment assisting civilian hospitals by relieving pressure from an understaffed, and overwhelmed facility.
    “Being an ICU nurse, we manage critically ill patients,” said Johnson. “It’s a lot of focused care and dealing with families who might not understand the process of what’s happening to their loved one”
    ICU nurses care for two to three patients per day. They assess the patients and watch for minute changes that could impact the patient’s outcome. The nurses consistently monitor these signs and are ready to act when necessary, said Owen
    “Much of the focus has been on remembering and reinvigorating the ‘why’ behind why we all joined the healthcare field, why we chose Covenant as our place to practice, and why we work hard for the patients,” said Patrice Lanczak, the vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer for Covenant Healthcare.
    Members of the task force will be on mission during the holiday season. Although they will be away from friends and family, Owen said, this mission helps to not only save lives and combat the world pandemic, but relieve some pressure from the hospital staff.
    "It’s nice being at a location that needs our help, and everyone here has been appreciative of us coming here and have been very helpful thus far,” said Johnson.
    The hospital staff have been very grateful for the assistance from the Department of Defense. With hospitals around the country being short staffed, it’s a huge weight lifted from their workload.
    “It gave me a sense of hope,” Lanczak stated. “We have been doing everything we can to keep the balance of the delivery of safe care and our staff’s safety. We’ve had to make big decisions to maintain that, like not accepting patients from our regions when we typically would. When we heard that this mix of staff was coming, it was just a feeling of hope, gratitude, and appreciation. Just having help.”



    Date Taken: 12.10.2021
    Date Posted: 12.15.2021 10:39
    Story ID: 410952
    Location: SAGINAW, MI, US 

    Web Views: 81
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