Sharp Recruits for Potential Surge of COVID-19 Patients, Other Hospitals Prepare

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Sharp Healthcare is preparing for a surge in COVID-19 patients by increasing staffing and bed capacity at their hospitals, the hospital confirmed Monday.

"If you are an experienced RN, LVN, Nursing Assistant, Respiratory Care Practitioner, we need you.  If you are a RN working in a non-clinical role, retired RN,  Nursing Student or Respiratory  Care Student, we need you as well," a message on the Sharp Careers website reads.

A Sharp representative said the hospital began making plans to increase staffing and hospital beds days before Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the California Health Corps of retired health care workers and medical students. It remains unclear how the state plans to integrate the thousands of sign-ups into existing medical infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Sharp has established its own recruiting tool to fill its surge needs. Those qualified who are willing to answer the call were urged to call (858) 499-5424 or email for the next steps in the process.

Other hospitals are also looking at their ability to meet the demand of a possible surge in COVID-19 patients.

Scripps Health, for example, has a plan in place for when their Intensive Care Unit and surge beds reach capacity, and when medical staff are no longer able to secure a bed through community partnerships, such as mobile field hospitals. Their last resort measure includes setting up surge tents that can at maximum capacity fit 80 cots.

A spokesperson for Scripps Health said staffing was adequate at this time, but if the need arose, their hospitals would also recruit retired health care professionals.

Kaiser Permanente said their facilities "have already put contingency plans in place to address the expected surge of patients with COVID-19 in the coming weeks within the San Diego community.”

Palomar Medical Center is working with the County of San Diego and the federal government to establish a 250-bed field hospital for the region. The partnership will allow Palomar Medical Center to transform two floors of their Escondido facility into a hospital for the entire community.

In announcing the details of the new field hospital, County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nick Yphantides said the bed capacity in the region will need to grow in the coming weeks "as a storm begins to reach our region."

The facility will be staffed with professionals from Palomar Health.

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