Baton Rouge hospitals face staffing shortages as Covid-19 cases surge


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– As Covid-19 cases continue to surge, hospital beds are filling fast and healthcare workers are exhausted trying to keep up.

“They are exhausted and that causes a significant drain in our resources,” Dr. Aldo Russo Regional Medical Director for Oschner Health said.

Baton Rouge hospital ICU beds are nearing max capacity.

The task of administering the Covid-19 vaccine is also occupying healthcare workers.

“Now the challenge is making sure you have enough staff to take care of patients bedside and also enough employees to vaccinate our employees,” Chief Operating Officer of Baton Rouge General Hospital Stephen Mumford said.

Dr. Catherine O’Neal with Our Lady of the Lake Hospital says the shortage of healthcare workers is statewide. “Hospitals just don’t have the ability to care for these patients like they want to,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal says part of the reason for the shortage is because hospital staff are contracting Covid-19 through community spread.

More than 75 traveling nurses have been brought into the capital city to help with the demand.

The surge of cases is expected to get worse before it gets better as the spread of Covid-19 from holiday gatherings takes it’s toll.

Covid-19 vaccine distribution is underway but during this critical time healthcare heroes are stressing the importance of wearing your mask and social distancing.


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