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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG / WECP) – In our community, our state and across the country, COVID-19 is impacting industries; including our health care system.

But, there is hope when it comes to staff shortages in the medical field.

“This younger generation, you know, they’re a little nervous about the whole of COVID as well. But they’ve stepped up and they’re ready to take care of people. They know what they have to face. We really teach you how to protect yourself and your patient. You know that first line of defense, be sure to wear your gloves, you mask yourself. Know the patient you are caring for, so you can take care of yourself, ”said Sabrina Peffers, Director of Nursing at Haney Technical College.

In these unprecedented times, many people now wish to become members of the health field. This is the case with several local students from Haney Technical College.

“Our need is so high right now. Not just in our community, but around the world. The pace at which they have to work because of the shortage makes it very difficult. So I can’t wait to get started and help my nursing colleague, ”said Sylvia Mack, nursing student at Haney Technical College.

“I feel like it made me want to be a nurse even more. I’ve always dreamed of being a nurse and I feel like with COVID it’s just another experience, ”said Melanie Feldstein, nursing student at Haney Technical College.

Gulf Coast State College also offers studies in the medical field.

“Whether it’s respiratory care, nursing, dental hygiene, sinography or radiology. We are always trying to meet the needs of our community and to really give people a good education so that they get good jobs in Bay County and the surrounding counties as well, ”Adam Carlini, Gulf Coast State Academic Program Specialist College for Health Sciences. , noted.

Prepare medical students today, to meet the needs in our region and across the country.

NewsChannel 7 has contacted Gulf Coast Regional Medical and Ascension Sacred Heart Bay to see if they are facing a staffing shortage.

They provided the following statements:

Regional medicine of the Gulf Coast – In coordination with the direction of our doctors and nursing teams, we closely monitor bed capacity, staff, supplies and equipment to ensure that we are able to continue delivering safely and effectively providing the most appropriate levels of care for our patients. We also have access to additional resources ready for deployment with the support of HCA Healthcare and our local, state and federal partners. “

Ascension Sacred Heart Bay – With the large number of COVID-19 cases in the community, Ascension Sacred Heart Bay sees an impact on its associates, but the staff issues are manageable. The hospital follows CDC guidelines for employees to return to work safely. We will employ travel nurses as needed. We rely on our tested plans that meet our goal of protecting the health and safety of our patients, visitors and associates.

To better protect our patients, visitors and associates, Ascension Sacred Heart has changed its visitation policy.

The revised policy allows:

  • No visitors under the age of 12 (except in extenuating circumstances)
  • Limit to two adult visitors per day for all non-COVID patients in the intervention, imaging, observation and hospitalization areas
  • Limit to two adult visitors for emergency room patients.
  • For pediatric patients, limit to two parents or guardians. Visitors cannot interact with other people when evaluating the emergency department or outpatient / observation stay.
  • Limit to one adult visitor per hospitalization for all COVID-positive patients. Visitors cannot interact with other people during hospitalization.

All visitors are required to wear a hospital-provided mask, be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and follow social distancing guidelines in waiting rooms and other areas, as directed.

Ascension Sacred Heart knows that visitors can provide emotional support to patients, reduce a patient’s sense of isolation, and improve communications between caregivers and patients in ways that improve patient outcomes.

We will consider implementing new restrictions on visits if the latest wave of COVID-19 continues and puts additional pressure on the capacity of our facilities and staff.

For more information about Haney Technical College, visit their website.

For more information on Gulf Coast State College, visit their website.

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