Rural hospitals speak on challenges they’re facing amid COVID-19

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As hospitals in the Hub city continue to gain more patients, rural hospitals said they are facing scarcity in resources.

Kathy Goodwin, Chief Nursing Officer at Cogdell Memorial Hospital in Snyder, Texas, said as a rural health facility, they’re used to facing challenges but that the pandemic has presented higher levels of stress.

Goodwin said there’s been an influx in patients at their hospitals, and to meet the demands, they’ve had to hire more nurses through an agency. She said medical personnel are working more hours to pick up extra shifts all while experiencing COVID fatigue.

“There’s also a lot of fear. Before, it was fear of the unknown, and now it’s probably more fear of the known,” she said. “It’s fear of what we are seeing. Our co-workers are getting ill, [and so are] our family members [and our] community.”

Kody Kitchens, Chief Nursing Officer Cochran Memorial hospital said their hospital is smaller, and the majority of their patients are normally transferred to higher levels of care. Due to the increased need for hospitalization, their role has shifted.

“Now the majority of all the hospitals are full they’re on diversion, and we are stuck having to care for patients we don’t have the means to do,” said Kitchens, “For example, we had an older person here who needed blood a couple of days ago, and we don’t have blood products.”

Cassie Mog, chief operating officer at Covenant Health Plainview, said their hospital is allotted 26 beds for COVID-19 and that they’re seeing on average 25-27 in their COVID hospital a day.

Mog said in her 12 years of working at the hospital, she has never seen as many patients coming on from out of state.

“We’ve had several transfers into our hospital several from the Eastern New Mexico region, Albuquerque, Lovington people within our Texas-New Mexico region,” she said.

Mog said with the holidays coming up, there is a general concern in the health care community of what the following weeks and months will bring.

“We are really just asking the community to do their part and help us,” she said. “We are trying our best to take care of the community, and now we need the community to kind of take care of us.”

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