Timmins hospital employees pitch in to fill staffing gaps created by COVID-19
In the midst of the wave of Omicron cases, the Timmins and District Hospital said it's experiencing a shortage of critical workers. That has meant employees from other departments have stepped up to help fill any gaps.
The hospital said Thursday it's taking care of 24 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. It's also dealing with a shortage of workers who've been affected by the virus one way or another.
The hospital's foundation team said it offered to grab a few brooms and get busy. Jason Laneville, the foundation's executive director, and his staff have been keeping the floors clean along the main promenade from front to back.
"Our team’s not afraid of work," said Laneville. "By putting in a few extra hours on the main floor helping clean the main floor, if that frees up a couple of environmental services workers to work upstairs on the medical floor, so be it. I mean we’re happy to help."
And he said his team isn't the only one pitching in.
"The ladies in the fracture clinic were working in the laundry, helping fold some clothes and towels etcetera," Laneville said.
"We’re getting a lot of positive feedback. Listen, we’re not doing it for the kudos. We’re just doing it to help out."
The positive attitude is impressing the hospital's president and chief executive officer.
"We need to stick together and support each other. We’re strong northerners so we’re innovative and you know we’re caring and compassionate people so it’s all hands on deck," said Kate Fyfe.
Fyfe said the hospital has put out a contract for more workers to help with cleaning and also has a plan in place to provide other supplemental staffing when necessary.
In the meantime, Lanevillle said if the foundation's actions inspire others to help in different areas than where they work, that will only help people get through the pandemic in a more positive way.