TRMC to get aid from National Guard

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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In the last 60 days, the staff at Troy Regional Medical Center has conducted more than 3,500 coronavirus tests and 650 monoclonal treatments.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Smith said the staff has been working four or five 12 hour shifts per week since the coronavirus Delta Variant began to surge in July. He said he began looking at options to bring in some help to give the TRMC staff a much needed chance to catch their breath and get a bit of rest. Smith said he had been notified Troy Regional would receive a National Guard deployment of five medics and a registered nurse to assist at the hospital.

“The staff here has been nothing short of amazing,” Smith said. “Since the Delta Variant began, we’ve been asking for help, and so has every hospital in the state. Nurses normally work three 12 hour shifts, but they’ve been working four or five shifts. The pandemic has not only taken a physical toll on our employees, it’s taken an emotional toll as well. We’ve seen a lot of death during the pandemic that a hospital this size normally wouldn’t see. We’re thrilled to get the help from the National Guard and I think it will be a real asset for our community. This will give our employees a much needed respite from the coronavirus.”

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Smith said the medics and RN will arrive at TRMC on Thursday for a hospital orientation and then began their 30-day deployment on Monday, Oct. 4. He said the guard deployment would come at no cost to the hospital, but their service duties would be strictly limited to assisting with the coronavirus. Smith said the National Guard medics were nationally licensed Emergency Medical Technicians and were cross trained in a wide range of applications from airway management and patient vitals as well as being able to administer some medicines. He said their training would enable them to fill in just about any capacity at the hospital. In addition, he said there was a possibility the deployment could be extended.

Smith said he and Chief Clinical Officer Amy Minor continually discussed the coronavirus pandemic with state and national leaders and in an effort to obtain some additional help. He said they discussed obtaining help with the National Guard and received notification last week their request had been approved.

“On behalf of the entire clinical team, I’d like to express our sincere appreciation for this help,” Minor said. “Our team has done an amazing job taking care of the citizens of Pike County, but we are proud to welcome the resources offered from the Alabama National Guard.   We look at this as a wonderful supplement to our current staff and it will further our abilities to care for all patients in need as well as our team members.”

Smith said the best defense against the coronavirus is still vaccination. He said TRMC offers a free vaccine clinic each Friday from 1-4 p.m.