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Early Planning by St. Paul's ICU Nurses Helped Brace for COVID Surge

While declining cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are welcome news for health-care workers, acute-care teams at St. Paul’s Hospital’s won’t soon forget how dire the situation had become during the pandemic – particularly this spring as the third wave of infections bore down.

At one point in May, St. Paul’s saw a 250-per-cent surge in critically ill patients – plenty of COVID cases in addition to other patients who needed life-saving care.   

Nurses started planning for heavy patient influx over a year ago

Yet rapid planning by critical-care nurses and nurse leaders in the early days of the pandemic helped them care for this influx, avoid becoming overwhelmed by limited resources and providing the best outcomes for patients.

In early 2020, as warnings from around the world of a potential surge in critically ill patients came in, the nurses and their leadership sprang into action.

“I’d never seen anything like this”

“We had to figure this out,” says Vininder (Vini) Bains, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Critical Care at St. Paul’s. “We’d never faced this before. In my 20 years of experience, I’d never seen anything like this.”

We asked ourselves, ‘How do we handle this when we suddenly need so many more critical-care nurses for these seriously ill patients?’ ”

What followed was the development of a coordinated, accelerated nursing redeployment strategy. It focused on making the best use of the right nursing expertise and resources so St. Paul’s could respond to quickly increasing patient needs due to COVID-19.

Read the full article here at The Daily Scan | Early Planning by St. Paul's ICU Nurses Helped Brace for COVID Surge