DALLAS — The winter weather made it difficult for some doctors and nurses to report to work at North Texas hospitals this week.
Melissa Winter is the chief nursing officer for Baylor Scott & White in Grapevine. This week, she said they worked to make sure there were enough beds for patients, as well as hospital staff spending the night.
“Just here locally, at Grapevine on Tuesday night, we slept 100 people inside this building,” Winter said. “It was a combination of nurses and techs and every service line across the house.”
Jennifer Money is an OR nurse at Baylor University Medical Center. This week, she said, “Nurses have been staying with other nurses.”
Money temporarily moved in with her uncle, so she’d be closer to the Dallas hospital.
“I have to go over a lot of bridges (driving to the hospital from my house) and I just didn't want to try to do that at 5:30 in the morning,” Winter said. “I've just stayed with (my uncle) just to make sure I could get to work.”
But Money admitted this week was tough.
“It's been hard,” Money said. “I have never been away from my daughter this long before.”
Winter said nurses treated patients for carbon monoxide, hyperthermia and other cold weather-related issues.
“Our long-term care facilities, our rehabs -- places where normally, they would care for our elderly population -- started to, just like everybody else: no electricity, no heat,” Winter said. “And we started receiving people that needed simply just social admissions because they didn't have those things at their homes.”
Winter said they ended up partnering with EMS and other agencies to send patients to warming centers after leaving the hospital.
“Starting on Monday afternoon, we started sending some patients that just needed hookups for oxygen and some other things over to the warming centers,” said Winter.
The winter weather has been a focus this week. But medical professionals also want North Texans to remember the pandemic.
“COVID's not over. We continue to see cases come into the building. So even though you're maybe going to a colleague’s and a friend’s home to stay warm and have essential needs, you still have to be careful,” said Winter.