Journal of Bacteriology and Infectious Diseases

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Abstract - Journal of Bacteriology and Infectious Diseases (2020) Volume 0, Issue 0

Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Crisis: How Nursing Recruitment, Deployment & Education Efforts Addressed A Global Pandemic

 break of COVID-19, and our nurses played a critical role in combating the global pandemic by efficiently and capably treating the surge of patients. Our existing staff of more than 9,600 nurses was augmented by nurses from all over the nation who answered our call for assistance. Throughout the first few weeks of the crisis, more than 5,000 temporary nurses joined our ranks, including nurses from more than 78 staffing agencies; 164 nurses and medics from the Army, Navy and Air Force who were deployed through the U.S. Department of Defense; recently-retired nurses who returned to the workplace; and more than 200 nurses from other city agencies such as school nurses from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Education who were redeployed to our facilities. We received assistance from nearly 500 nurse volunteers, recruited through the New York State Medical Reserve Corps; as well as students, instructors and other volunteers from local colleges and universities. In addition to providing direct patient care and serving as active bedside nurses for both COVID-19 and non-COVID cases, these newly-mobilized nurses and volunteers served in various vital roles throughout our network. This included deploying licensed registered nurses to handle tele-health outreach, including registration and call center functions; nursing faculty and instructors to assist with training and to support students when they are on-site at our facilities; and students to assist patients with the activities of daily living and hygiene, including assessing vital signs; answering call bells in non-isolation rooms; assisting with nutrition, hydration, elimination and ambulation; and providing comfort and basic interaction with patients. To facilitate nurse recruitment, deployment, credentialing and education, NYC Health + Hospitals implemented a new Virtual Deployment Team; created a “fast-track” credentialing program; developed a virtual orientation and educational program for all new staff; converted existing nursing orientation procedures and materials to online training; developed specialized COVID-19 educational materials, and reduced the typical onboarding process for new nursing staff from the traditional four-week time frame down to just two days. Chief Nursing Officers at each facility redeployed existing of nursing staff on an as-needed basis. 

Author(s): Natalia Cineas

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