STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Capacity and staffing concerns at MVHS

As the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, Mohawk Valley Health System is now acknowledging that there are capacity concerns, but the biggest issue they're facing is staffing shortages.

Posted: Dec 31, 2020 11:32 PM

As the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, Mohawk Valley Health System is now acknowledging that there are capacity concerns, but the biggest issue they're facing is staffing shortages.

Chief Physician Executive Dr. Kent Hall held a media briefing on Thursday.

Right now, there are 211 patients hospitalized at MVHS.

"We are rapidly approaching capacity within the Mohawk Valley Health System," Hall said. "We have implemented the surge plan that we had developed in the spring and that has allowed us to take on many more patients than we would normally have at this time of year.”

Starting Monday, non-essential procedures will be put on hold.

“Unless it is life or limb threatening or it is something related to a cancer diagnosis or something like that, we are really not moving forward with those procedures at this time,” Hall said.

While MVHS has not reached capacity, a shortage in staffing is making things more difficult.

“There was already a pre-existing shortage on nurses, a 1.2 million shortage across the country," Hall said. "Add to that, nurses are human beings are going to get sick. We have a number of our staff currently out with COVID and therefore are not able to work.”

Hall says MVHS is still able to care for patients, but he did say their staff is tired.

A nurse that works at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center spoke to NEWSChannel2 about her concerns.

“We do have available rooms and beds in the hospital but there is absolutely not the staff to take care of them," Lily Werenczak said. “On med surge sometimes, the nurses are taking up to 14 patients. Safe patient ratio for med surge would be 1 nurse for 5 patients so they’re almost tripling what would be considered safe by many standards.”

She says she she wants hospital leaders to be more aggressive in their search and recruitment for more nurses and staff members.

“The patients are suffering immensely, it brings tears to my eyes, it brings tears to other nurses and health care workers eyes, not being able to provide the care the patients deserve," Werenczak said.

Hall says they are doing what they can. He says they are working with national staffing firms to try to recruit more staff members. He also says that is why they are stopping elective procedures.

“We calculate that in doing that, we will free up probably about 28 to 30 nurses and about 12 to 15 clinical assistants that can help the nurses on the floor," Hall said.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2349898

Reported Deaths: 54717
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31402410678
Queens30254610106
Suffolk2240683498
Nassau2040623239
Bronx2001386671
New York1590774595
Westchester1396652325
Erie974131871
Richmond846001896
Monroe767031148
Orange53821887
Rockland50261766
Onondaga44596701
Dutchess33251480
Albany27874368
Oneida25117532
Niagara21718381
Broome21178379
Saratoga18060184
Ulster16054270
Schenectady14978213
Rensselaer12971154
Putnam1165395
Chautauqua10419153
Oswego9236100
Chemung8710142
St. Lawrence8461111
Ontario833395
Steuben8053154
Cayuga7662100
Sullivan765979
Jefferson715870
Wayne671776
Cattaraugus654496
Genesee5904126
Herkimer5871115
Tompkins573359
Clinton538733
Madison526196
Fulton514997
Livingston506063
Montgomery4930133
Cortland466669
Warren453976
Columbia4525107
Tioga431165
Chenango408085
Otsego406450
Allegany389691
Greene385282
Wyoming383654
Washington378561
Orleans352183
Franklin331915
Lewis309736
Delaware292940
Seneca237558
Schoharie202820
Essex188029
Yates135726
Schuyler123216
Hamilton4013
Unassigned13031
Out of NY0285
Utica
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Oneonta
Mostly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 68°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve