When the first wave of coronavirus hit Queensland early this year, staff from PA Hospital’s Permanent Nurse Pool (PNP) leapt into action. Acting Nurse Manager Adrian Man said his team had scaled up significantly in response to the looming health challenge.
“We knew we would need to be prepared as best we could, so within a few weeks more than 200 staff were appointed to the Metro South Nurse Pool (MSNP), orientated and commenced duties.”
Mr Man said the PNP and MSNP had been involved in many activities to support the state’s COVID-19 response including airport arrival screening, staff redeployments to Rockhampton and Victoria to assist with community testing and contact tracing efforts, and staffing fever clinics at various sites within the Metro South Health district.
He said his Nurses had also staffed quarantine hotels, supervised exemption visits for relatives of critically ill patients at home, assisted with the management and distribution of PPE within the hospital, and supported Emergency Department, Public Health and Acute Care at Home teams during a period of increased service demand. He said delivering PA hospital’s concierge service was PNP’s most visible role.
“We provided an average of 23 staff per day to cover the hospital’s main entry points, amounting to 3,600 shifts for 24 weeks to comply with the Chief Health Officer’s Hospital Visitors Direction.
“To reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering the hospital, we screened upwards of 6,000 visitors and patients presenting to PAH for coronavirus symptoms and travel history prior to entering the facility each day. We also educated visitors and patients on cough etiquette, physical distancing, hand hygiene and the use of PPE.”
He said Nurses had handed out more than 5,000 masks to patients, visitors and staff each day to support virus containment efforts when mask use became compulsory in September.
Mr Man said he was proud of what his team had accomplished during a period of significant change and uncertainty for the hospital and praised the collaborative effort of other teams.
“To all of our Nurses and administration staff who have made these achievements possible by going the extra mile, accepting last minute shifts and shift changes and demonstrating professionalism and care in all they did, thank you for a job well done.
“On behalf of the PNP I would also like to thank our team of dedicated volunteers, security personnel, switchboard and porterage staff, and the many other areas of the hospital that took our calls and understood that the concierge team had a job to do and assisted us.”