DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Medical workers deployed by the state began arriving in North Texas Monday, August 16.
They’re intended to boost staffing at local hospitals strained by a new surge of COVID-19 patients.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
“Some are arriving as we speak,” said DFW Hospital Council CEO Stephen Love in an interview Monday afternoon.
Nearly every hospital in the area, he says, has asked for help.
“Staffing has been an issue in every surge, but it’s been a really big issue in this surge,” he said.
The medical community has fewer workers now, he reports, than they did during previous surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and the year and a half long pandemic has left much of their staff struggling with fatigue.
“So we’re actually losing valuable clinical people, and even the support staff people from our workforce that are just saying, hey I’m going to go to another profession or I’m going to make a change,” said Love.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
The Texas Department of State Health Services is now working with staffing firms to recruit medical personnel from out of state.
Of the 2,500 being deployed statewide this week, North Texas will get about 750.
Love says local hospitals requested about 2,000, but any amount can help bring some relief.
Parkland Hospital in Dallas said it expects to receive 54 nurses and respiratory therapists. JPS in Fort Worth expects 38.
Other hospitals declined to release specific numbers.
The state has committed to covering the cost of the extra staff through the end of September and may send even more personnel in later deployments.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
“We’ll be assessing where we are at the end of this week to see if there’s need still out there. I think there probably will be. As well as how things are on the supply side… is there more staff we’ll be able to get. I’m sure you know medical staffing is tight everywhere now,” said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson for the Department of State Health Services.