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W.Va. National Guard helps healthcare workers at Camden Clark

WTAP News @ 5- National guard helps healthcare workers
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:28 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - “It’s really an honor to have the opportunity to stand up as a unit,” says W.Va. national guard staff sergeant, Elizabeth King. “And help out the local hospitals. I know that there’s been a great need. But this hasn’t been an opportunity until just now. So, we’re very happy to be able to fulfill these roles.”

After three days of training at Camp Dawson and a day of orientation, the West Virginia national guard is ready to help healthcare workers at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center.

Officials say it is necessary with the recent spike in cases.

Just Wednesday, Governor Jim Justice announced that West Virginia has reached its highest COVID-19 hospitalization count ever at one thousand forty-three hospitalizations.

“This assistance means so much right now,” says WVU Medicine Camden Clark chief experience officer, Janice Midcap. “We’re in the midst of another COVID surge. Which is impacting hospitals across the country and the state. As well as us here at Camden Clark. We’re seeing a lot of admissions. And this will help our caregivers and it is tremendously appreciated.”

Hospital officials said last week they requested the guard to help the nursing staff with non-clinical tasks, which officials say is a big help.

Especially with many of the healthcare workers experiencing COVID fatigue after two years of fighting this pandemic.

“So, it has been a long two years. I know none of us expected it to still be going on at this point and I’m really proud of our caregivers,” says Midcap. “They’ve been really dedicated and resilient through this. So, seeing the show of support from our national guard being to provide additional assistance means a lot, having the extra set of helping hands is a real benefit, and that show of support means a lot as well to get our caregivers through this time and help us care for our community.”

The W.Va. national guard says that it is prepared to help in any way possible.

“I mean we’ve noticed that with the number of spiking and everything it is wearing down healthcare workers a lot. We’ve been bridging a lot of different gaps for two years now in health departments doing vaccines, doing swabbing missions. This is just another way that we’re able to help out. And we do see it wearing out everybody and we’re happy to bridge that gap,” says King.

A total of 10 guard members including the National Guard Team Lead, Staff Sargent King are on site. An additional two guard members are expected in the near future.

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