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More rooms added so we are here for you when you need us

More rooms added so we are here for you when you need us

The numbers of people being hospitalized have been increasing significantly in Campbell County and the state of Wyoming over the past month. We have implemented some recent changes to increase hospital capacity at Campbell County Memorial Hospital to continue to serve our community.

About a week ago we were able to increase our total number of ICU beds to 10, to give us the ability to care for more patients who need more intense care. Using the 18 Medical/Surgical beds and four “flex” rooms, we can care for 32 patients on the second floor of the hospital above the Main Lobby.

These beds have been near or at capacity for several weeks, both with COVID-19 patients and patients requiring hospitalization for other illnesses and surgeries. We have also had to keep patients waiting in the Emergency department for long periods of time for several reasons: there are no beds for them here until a patient is discharged and one becomes available; and we are unable to transfer them to other hospitals in the region because they are also at capacity.

Over the weekend we were able to equip and open nine more beds on the former Medical/Surgical unit on the fourth floor of the hospital. This should help us get patients to inpatient care more quickly, and free up additional space in the Emergency department for patients that need to be treated there.

We are grateful to our hospitalists, who have been able to increase the number of doctors on each shift. This will enable them to care for the increased number of patients.

Healthcare workers are also a limited resource in all rural communities, and we have had to make some decisions that impact some of our other services in order to have enough caregivers for patients in the hospital. Our Home Medical Resources (HMR) department, which provides medical equipment and supplies, has Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) that are now assisting with inpatient care. As a result, HMR will be closed to walk-in traffic on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will still be available by phone, and continue to provide oxygen therapy set-ups, and sleep apnea equipment and supplies by appointment.

Many of our surgery staff are registered nurses, and are needed to work in the expanded patient care areas we have opened. This means we have had to limit elective surgeries even more, while keeping the ability to provide urgent and emergent surgeries.

Our leadership and directors are meeting twice a day to discuss bed capacity, staffing and other important planning processes. Our employees have worked tirelessly to serve our community, often working extra shifts, or in a different department or clinic than they normally do. They are amazing, and they are heroes.

The community can help us ensure we have the capacity to care for everyone who needs it by getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and Influenza, wearing a mask indoors in public, staying six feet apart as much as possible, and avoiding crowds.