DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - Officials with Beaumont Dearborn met with FEMA on Monday to ask for help. One day later their request was granted, bringing hospital reinforcements to town next Monday.
The hospital is battling through an influx of Covid patients and not enough staff to handle them. So when the opportunity came to request help, they took it.
Starting next week. Twenty-two employees from all over the country will clock in at the hospital.
"The make-up of them, should be a large number of nurses, some respiratory therapists, and a couple physicians," said David Claeys, Beaumont Dearborn president.
While any help is appreciated he said 22 is not nearly enough.
"If we had somewhere between 200 and 300 just at Dearborn alone, that would make us feel a lot better and for the entire health system, 1,000 nurses would be fantastic," he said.
The state of Michigan was given this opportunity from FEMA because we are currently the state seeing the biggest increase in new covid cases. Health officials link it to two factors:
Kids are back to in-person learning, coupled with a drastic temperature drop.
"Bringing Covid potentially, and Covid variants home, to their family members who are potentially unvaccinated," Claeys said. "We’ve seen about a 200 percent increase in the number of Covid patients in the hospitals in Beaumont from September until now, and we think it’s due to the weather and people being driven inside."
When you add the lack of workers due to early retirement, that is when this combination really gets dangerous.
"We have some challenges with our teams being burned out, exhausted, and tired. And they are a little bit frustrated and trying to work through that," Claeys said. "This help just kind of signifies that they are not alone, people are noticing it."
And Dearborn is not alone, another hospital in Grand Rapids will also get 22 new temporary employees beginning next week.
The 22 new employees will start next Tuesday and are scheduled to stay for 4 weeks. The hope is that the influx will help with the surge but if numbers are still spiking in a month, hospitals can file another request.