Preparing for a surge: Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital holds high surge COVID drill (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY) | TheUnion.com
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Preparing for a surge: Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital holds high surge COVID drill (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)

It was all hands on deck Thursday at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley, where doctors, nurses, paramedics, and a total of 75 to 100 hospital staff took part in a high surge COVID drill.

Hospital staff tended to the simulated patients within a series of white pop-up tents set up outside of the emergency room, just as they would were the community experiencing a real surge in coronavirus infections.

Thursday’s drill tested a scenario where 50 patients arrived at the hospital in a short amount of time, by varying means, and all experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Drive-up patients were stopped along Glasson Way, where an evaluator would first determine where the patient should go.

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Those in cars would then drive around to the Building 3 parking lot, where they received their triage tag to get treated.

A Sierra Nevada ambulance brought a simulated patient from a local nursing home as they likely would during a high COVID surge.

The drill allowed hospital personnel to test their ability to initiate the incident command structure, construct the surge tent, and move patients expeditiously through the system.

“It’s all about testing the system,” said Kimberly Parker, executive director of the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. “Testing from personnel, to equipment, as well as (testing) the health of the staff.”

All participants had their temperatures tested before the drill.

Technology was also being put to the test during the drill, and the use of tablets for doctors to be able to interact remotely with simulated patients.

“We have a ton of notes,” said Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Sue Urban. “Lots of improving to do.”

To maximize the reach of Thursday’s drill, employees of Nevada County, local EMS, and Hospice of the Foothills were all involved.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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