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Baptist Health Corbin facing staff shortages as COVID-19 situation worsens

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:36 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - One hospital in Southern Kentucky is facing a serious situation as COVID-19 cases continue to escalate in the area.

Doctors and nurses at Baptist Health Corbin say they are overwhelmed.

Last Friday, the hospital had 30 COVID-19 patients...that number had grown to 50 by Thursday. Nurses say they come to work everyday to a full emergency room and lobby.

In fact, Dr. Christopher Troxell says they have instituted a state of emergency to make better use of resources and staffing. He says he wishes the public could see what they are going through and how bad it’s become. Dr. Troxell adds that other doctors and nurses are exhausted and overwhelmed but are bound and determined to care for everyone the best that they can.

“That we are in situations we are trying to get them to appropriate facilities—there are no beds,” Dr. Troxell said. “We are calling to multiple facilities, trying to get folks to appropriate care as needed. And they are seeing the same surges we are.”

Medical officials say they are stepping up and taking on extra responsibilities. Some are working 12 hours shifts with some working even longer than that, as well as taking on additional roles.

“So staff are working extra days, extra shifts, picking up,” said Sandra Lockard at Baptist Health Corbin. “Like I say, they are tired, but they keep showing up and showing such great care for our patients.”

“They are asking ‘please, can you help me get the vaccine?’,” Lockard added.

Hospital officials are are seeing people both young and old, but those that are vaccinated are usually sent home after quick treatments. The hospital is overrun but doctors are concerned about other services that may suffer as a result.

Some elective surgeries have already been postponed in Corbin and now other operating room procedures are being looked at because staff are needed in other areas.

Doctors and nurses say people can help by keeping politics out of the equation and simply get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

“We would ask people if they are not educated on the vaccine, please consider it, they can call the hospital. We will help them any way we can,” Lockard added.

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