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Emergency Medicine: Meeting the Challenges of the Pandemic

Stacey Savage, Clinical Director, Emergency Nursing, has been working in emergency medicine for more than 20 years. “We had always planned for the worst-case scenario,” she says. “In 2020 we proved we can step up to the challenge.” In what she described as an “all hands-on-deck” spirit, Savage says, right from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff volunteered to help.

“Everything was fast and furious at first,” says Brian Nicholson, Emergency Services Coordinator. “We were helping EMS (Emergency Medical Services), fire chiefs, fire services, and getting their questions answered. They wanted to know what to do about exposures, quarantining, and testing. We kept the dialogue open.”

WDH was honored to work with care partners across our community, providing support to expand testing access and offering training opportunities, such as a week-long virtual Paramedic Refresher course. Healthcare providers from across the organization volunteered their time to teach different sections. Savage says, “It was a true community effort.”

Early in the pandemic, there were challenges ensuring all hospitals and healthcare providers had adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and testing supplies. “As soon as that was recognized, people and companies from the community came out of the woodwork making shields for us and supplying them,” Savage says. She even met an engineer at the hospital early one Saturday, who had stayed up all night making shields on 3D printers.

“We have always been there for the community,” Savage says. “2020 was really a year of the community reaching back out to us and giving back too.”

For more information about how Wentworth-Douglass Hospital emergency services are helping meet the challenges of the pandemic please visit our Covid-19 Resources.

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