>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

La Grande Observer 11/28/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow OVERCROWDING PUTS PINCH ON HOSPITAL



By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

The patients were coming in almost faster than the staff could count them.

Twenty-six patients were in beds on the medical-surgical floor of Grande Ronde Hospital. Two more women, recovering from surgery, were put in beds on the maternity floor, joining two new mothers and babies.

And the sick and injured kept arriving Thursday.

To cap it all, two hospital employees called in sick.

As the evening wore on, a few hospital patients grew worse and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Eventually, four intensive care beds, the maximum number, were occupied. For the first time in Administrator Jim Mattess memory, Grande Ronde Hospital stopped taking new patients, sending three to other hospitals.

Yesterday was extraordinary, Mattes said Friday. This has not happened before here, but it has happened in other places.

Janet Wright, hospital vice president for patient care services, said the hospital followed a precise procedure when deciding who to transfer.

We assessed everybody in the emergency room, and we had the physician make the decisions for transferring patients, Wright said.

Two patients were sent to Walla Walla and a third went to Baker City, Wright

said. Grande Ronde Hospital made the arrangements.

Wright said the hospital makes sure a bed and the proper medical care are available before transferring a patient.

We were preparing to transfer patients to Pendleton, but when we called, they said they were diverting, too, Mattes said.

Staff worked overtime. One supervisor came to work Thursday morning and did not go home until 11 p.m., a 16-hour shift, Wright said.

Mattes and Wright praised the hospital staffs response to Thursdays crisis.

The people in this community show up big time, Wright said. They work until they drop.

A fairly complex formula governs the hospitals staffing level and the number of patients that the hospital can accept, Mattes said.

Staffing is based upon the average number of patients per day. On the medical-surgical floor, 13 is the average number, half the number on the floor Thursday.

The amount of care required by patients also affects the number that can be admitted, Mattes said.

We had a lot of very sick patients, he said.

By Friday, the situation had improved, with several patients being discharged.

Were on the edge today, Wright said.

Were on divert alert, Mattes said.

Earlier this winter, the hospital almost reached the point of diverting patients, he said.

We hope it doesnt happen again, but we wont be surprised if it does, Mattes said.

At one time the hospital could use a pool of on-call nurses to help in a crisis situation, but Wright said the pool no longer exists.

Mattes said the serious nursing shortage which has affected other areas in the Northwest probably will reach Eastern Oregon in the near future. With fewer nurses, the hospital may be forced to make many difficult decisions, he said.

Were facing a staffing crisis not only nurses but other staff, he said.

Grande Rondes proximity to the Oregon Health Sciences School of Nursing at Eastern Oregon University has helped to maintain the hospitals nursing staff at a good level.

The nursing school is a godsend for us, Mattes said. Weve had access to well trained nurses for years, and wed be facing a real problem if we didnt have it.

But nurses are aging and young people are not entering the field. Mattes said that statistics show the average age of registered nurses at 46.

Wright said that the nursing profession faces competition with other professional careers that may pay higher salaries and offer better



blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

purchase quicken 2009 premier where can i buy windows 7 basic buy office 2010 now
  • cost of eset smart security office 2010 cheapest price discount parallels 9
  • office 2010 home and student license cheap office 2011 mac buy photoshop cs6
    cost of adobe photoshop elements 8 buy microsoft word 2003 student best price mathcad 14
    pictures of viagra pills 
    vardenafil overdose 
    free viagra order online 
  • sildenafil citrate without prescription generic viagra mastercard natural viagra substitutes
  • purchase microsoft office 2007 students buy microsoft expression web australia autodesk building design suite cheap
    photoshop elements 9 student discount 
    cheapest microsoft office 2007 small business oem