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GRANGEVILLE — “We’re here at the beginning of life, the end of life, and basically for all the stages in between,” to offer the appropriate levels of care, said Syringa clinical nurse manager Curt Brimacomb. Brimacomb spoke to the board of trustees at the March 22 meeting.

Brimacomb gave a brief talk on the hospital’s labor and delivery, outpatient and inpatient departments as related to the nursing staff.

Brimacomb explained the departments had been concerned with some recent satisfaction survey results.

“We started to look through the time frames of the surveys,” to see when the specific results were recorded, he explained.

He said they discovered that many of the lower scores came at times when patients and staff were dealing with COVID and were in isolation.

“Due to COVID practices, even if a patient simply called for ice water, the caregiver had to completely suit up,” in PPE, taking extra time for not only a simple call from the patient, but also taking time away from other patients, Brimacomb explained.

In addition, he said many employees were either out sick or could not work for certain periods due to their exposure to others who had COVID — even if they were not actually ill.

“It was a tough time around November, and then with another spike in January,” he said. “Fortunately, things seem to be looking up and we expect to see those [survey] scores improve, as well.

He also reported patient room number three in the hospital has plans to go for a remodel to make it a single patient bariatric room. They would like to place a lift for heavier patients in that room; however, facilities manager Bill Spencer reported a waiver from the state for that lift had been denied. They will continue to seek alternative options.

Brimacomb said the nursing staff has been “extremely busy,” especially in labor and delivery where there were recently five births in a short period of time: two back-to-back.

He added the hospital has received a “very fast” ultrasound machine for the emergency room, and a new emergency room provider will soon start to help ease the patient load.

Nurse Cindy Daly reported on some of the outpatient services being taken care of by the nursing staff, including blood transfusions, long term intravenous antibiotics infusions (31 in February alone), cardiac monitoring, scheduled interjections, colonoscopies, EKGs and surgeries.

“Many of these are quite time consuming for the staff,” she explained, adding they are needed services.

“It’s good to be reminded the amount of time it takes for many of these procedures,” trustee Jerry Zumalt said.

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