Fewer Staff Means Fewer Available Beds at Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson, Michigan
There is something so heartbreaking about the fact we have made it now over a year and a half into this pandemic with those on the frontlines pushing themselves to their absolute limits only to still be working twice as hard and facing a bed shortage in hospitals due to COVID-19...
Bed Closures Across Henry Ford Health System
As COVID-19 continues to sweep across Michigan (thanks, Delta Variant), continued arguments for or against vaccines and staffing shortages at one of the most important pieces of curing the nation of this disease, there is now a shortage of beds in hospitals like Henry Ford Health System.
According to MLive, citing a recent briefing with Henry Ford Health System's executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Dr. Adnan Munkarah, there are currently 120 beds out of commission across all five hospitals in the system.
Half of those 120 closed beds are at Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson and in Detroit, MLive reports, and those account for less than 10% of bed closures system-wide, but the question still stands, what's causing this?
MLive reports, according to Munkarah, that "unprecedented" staffing struggles (shortages) are part of the problem. It has caused them to "streamline" services and eliminate beds mostly in "General Practice units" and only a few in intensive care departments.
How Bed Shortages Could Affect You
Basically, a shortage of beds and staff could mean delays in medical services for you.
As someone who has family and friends working in the Emergency Department at Henry Ford Allegiance, it's gotten so crazy each day there that one day they posted about being so desperate they sat in a circle and prayed together before shift change.
While Munkarah did say this does not mean the health systems will "not be curtailing any services" it does mean they say they are working with staffing agencies to better "bolster" their staff based on current needs.
How Vaccines Come Into Play
We're not going to sit here and remind you on how vaccinating against COVID-19 is critical in putting this whole mess behind us. No, no, we'll keep opinions out of this one.
Instead, Munkarah provided some facts that were shared by MLive that paint a better picture.
According to Munkarah, about 79% of the 113 (as of Tues. September 14th) COVID-positive patients being cared for at one of the five hospitals across Henry Ford Health System are unvaccinated. Another 11% of that 113 are currently between their first and second doses of the vaccine.
The remaining 10% of those hospitalized patients are fully vaccinated.
In comparison, MLive cites Munkarah in reporting that 98% of Henry Ford Health System Employees statewide are vaccinated in accordance to a new vaccine mandate.
Here is where I will insert a little something to ponder, though.
My mother works at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson. She has been overworked and on-edge for months now ever since the announcement was made the health system would be mandating all employees to be vaccinated.
That is because she says there are so many employees that have quit because of it, which is their prerogative, but definitely did not help existing staffing shortages...especially when organizing walkouts, protests and mass call-ins (but we won't dive too deep into that).
I believe this 98% vaccination rate across the hospital is definitely because those who were unwilling to comply with the mandate no longer work there. While that does not make the data any less true, it's just something to think about when it comes to the relationship between vaccines and the staffing shortage.
All in all, if you or someone you love works in healthcare or has been working harder than ever as we try to collectively come out of this pandemic without completely losing our minds...just give them or yourself some grace. This is hard and we could not do this all without you.
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