DCH dealing with nurse shortage, pleads with community to get vaccinated

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The coronavirus surge continues to spike at DCH Health System Hospitals. There are now 65 cases of positive inpatients.

Paul Betz is the DCH Chief Operating Officer and is pleading with the community to get vaccinated and to wear a mask.

“We feel that the most important defense against the spread of this virus is to get vaccinated. And we of course require masking inside our facilities and encourage those in the community to do the same,” Betz said.

Betz held a news conference Thursday morning asking for help from the community looking for anyone with nursing experience. Betz says the health system is experiencing a staff shortage.

“We are seeing a spike in COVID cases and need more additional nurses in many areas. We are asking registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in the community to come work with us,” said Betz.

DCH is planning to bring back temporary COVID-19 ICU rooms to help more patients who are sick. Betz also says the health system is trying to encourage its employees to get vaccinated by offering extra vacation time off.  

“By having more nurses on staff will give us more adequate staffing we need to help us take care of the COVID virus and patients that have COVID. The difficulty with COVID patients is they require so much more attention,” said Betz.

The vaccination clinic will now stay open only on Fridays. DCH was planning to shut it down but decided to re-open because of so many new cases. 90% of all inpatients being treated have not been vaccinated.

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