U.S. Navy critical care nurse discusses helping Bellin Health with Covid-19 surge

The U.S. Navy is now half way through their 30 day deployment
The U.S. Navy is now half way through their 30 day deployment(WBAY)
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 6:07 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A critical care nurse in the U.S. Navy who is among the 23 person Navy medical team deployed to help Bellin Health in Green Bay gives an inside look on the COVID-19 surge.

“It’s been two years in the pandemic so it’s tiring at times, but you know, we have to take care of people that are in critical conditions,” said Lt. Colin Clark, a critical care nurse with the U.S. Navy.

As Action 2 News reported, the team arrived two weeks ago to alleviate some of Bellin Hospital’s capacity burdens, and take some stress off of local health care workers who may be experiencing burnout.

“I haven’t paid attention to the numbers in two years because I just see it in the ER. When the spike goes up in the ER, I know the spike is up all around and the spike is up in the ER,” said Lt. Clark.

Lieutenant Clark says the spike in COVID-19 in the ER cases has kept them busy at all times.

“You got to be safe and just treat everyone like they have it at this point, so you keep yourself safe and you keep wearing the proper PP around everyone. So it’s just being more vigilant in what you do, and now it’s just second nature because you’ve been doing this for so long, you just naturally gown up, and you naturally mask and put on your N95,” said Lt. Clark.

Wisconsin is currently one of nine states with military teams deployed to assist local hospitals.

On WISN’s “UPFRONT” on Sunday, Lt. Clark says Bellin has been experiencing worker shortages, just like hospitals and businesses nationwide.

“There are a lot of places that are shorter staffed, so it hurts when our staff is out too because then we can’t take care of more people that are sick so it’s important for everyone to stay as safe as possible,” said Lt. Clark.

As Action 2 News reported on Thursday, more help from the National Guard is on the way to alleviate hospital burdens, as 10 certified nursing assistants are expected to begin training on Monday.

The U.S. Navy is half way through their 30 day deployment, and so far, Lt. Clark says he hasn’t heard of any changes to those plans.

“We’re always busy in the ER so you never know. And especially with the numbers going up, we’re just here to support the local hospitals so it really comes back to what they need from us,” said Lt. Clark.

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