Providence training staff for possible coronavirus outbreak

PORTLAND, Ore. — The possibility of a high number of patients needing care for the disease in the coming months has hospitals getting their emergency caregivers ready.

This week, Providence held a ‘readiness exercise’ outside its emergency department at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland.

The team practiced setting up a patient overflow tent, something Providence says it has on-hand at hospitals throughout the state.

Each tent has room and supplies to care for 15 to 18 patients.

“This is a large group of people who are coming together to make sure we have everything set up, all the equipment available, all the supplies available,” said St. Vincent Emergency Department Nurse Manager, Lara Busch, RN. “Let’s make sure that our teams are ready, we want to make sure that we have our staff available and heathy so if need be our community has a place to bring our patients that are sick.”

Providence says it’s planning more exercises like this across the state including one in Medford sometime soon.

Asante tells us it’s having daily meetings on the coronavirus and says its staff is fully trained for a surge of incoming patients in the event of an outbreak locally.

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