National Guard jumps in at crowded PCH

PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – The National Guard arrived at Princeton Community Hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. On Wednesday morning, CEO Karen Bowling spoke to the media about how they would help hospital staff.

With Princeton Community Hospital packed for weeks now, CEO Karen Bowling said the arrival of the National Guard will provide the extra hands needed to care for patients. Bowling said one of the ways the National Guard has started to help is by helping with laundry and cleaning.

“If you have the number of patients that we have, and we have the churn of patients, you know, a large number of patients who come to our emergency room and then a large number of patients who are discharged and have to be admitted from our emergency room. , that takes a lot of extra help turning the rooms around to make sure everything is clean,” Bowling said.

With the additional help of the eight members of the National Guard, Bowling hopes they can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to clean beds and prepare them for new patients.

But that’s not all Bowling said the National Guard will bring to PCH. She said she hopes the rest of the staff will be encouraged to watch the guard come to the rescue.

“It’s hard,” Bowling explained. “You know that our people work very hard. They work overtime. We are all doing what we need to do to serve this community and care for people. And seeing the guard here to jump in and help us is really, I think, good for morale.

Bowling said she was excited to hear the National Guard would come to PCH to lend a hand. And she knew from her time working with them in the state government, they would come in immediately to make a difference.

“I was lucky enough to see through past disasters how well the National Guard responded. Whether it was the derecho or the water crisis. I mean, they got there fast and helped communities,” Bowling said.

“This is a little different because they’re in a hospital, which might be a little different from the kind of work they’ve done in the past. But we have always been able to count on the National Guard.”

As of now, Guard members are expected to remain at Princeton Community Hospital until the end of March. However, the hospital will meet with commanders once a week to determine if a longer stay is needed.

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