Lubbock hospitals request out-of-state help following Gov. Abbott’s direction

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 11:24 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Governor Abbott has requested help from beyond Texas borders to begin fighting the surge in Delta COVID cases and 2,500 doctors, nurses, and technicians have been dispatched across the state of Texas.

Lubbock hospitals have already begun the process of following Abbott’s directions, hoping to receive help before we reach peak cases. Now, hospitals are just waiting for a reply. However, both University Medical Center and Covenant hospitals are worried that extra staffing may never come.

Last year it seemed the country was experiencing peak cases at different times, allowing for alternating lending and receiving of out-of-state staffing. Dr. Brian Schroeder, the Chief Medical Officer of Covenant Medical Center, says this year is different because the entire country is facing that “peak” at the same time. Dr. Schroeder stated that while he appreciates “the Governor’s approach to try and get us help,” he is worried that there might not be any help to get.

Health care workers have had no time to rest during the battle with COVID-19, dealing with one wave directly after another. University Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Ragain says he has noticed that staffing fatigue is another reason we might be seeing a large staffing shortage. Dr. Schroeder said that along with this, many workers, after having gone out and worked for an agency at a higher wage, are seeking higher wages than what is available in Lubbock currently, and don’t feel compelled to return to the workforce at this moment, especially facing a second wave of COVID.

Both UMC and Covenant have begun the process of requesting out-of-state staffing and are currently waiting on a reply. Dr. Schroeder said the public can help our hospitals beat this upcoming surge by getting vaccinated.

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