BRYAN, TX — Hospitals in the state of Texas are becoming overrun with COVID-19 patients.
As the numbers of hospitalizations rise across the state, so are they too here in Bryan-College Station.
Friday, the Brazos County Health Department reported total ICU bed capacity at 123%, the highest its been for the week of Jan 3 - 9.
St. Joesph Health is now turning to retired front line workers.
Asking for the public's help, in having retired nurses, EMTs, and medical assistants to volunteer administering the COVID-19 vaccine, at their vaccine clinics.
“One of the big reasons is because of the strain right now. Due to a large number of COVID patients in the hospitals, and in the clinics, our teams that are at the beside, really need to stay at the bedside," says Brandy LaPaglia, Director of Nursing Support at CHI St. Joseph Health.
As they enter phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, vaccinating catagorized high-risk individuals, St. Joesph Health is requesting assistance from retired qualified professionals within the community.
“We really need people who are medically trained, who have the skills, and also who, want to be able to help out in this situation, it’s a great opportunity for them to serve their community,” says LaPaglia.
Community members are already stepping up to the task.
“Seeing what COVID is doing to people, this is an opportunity to protect more people from the pandemic that's actually affecting people’s lives, and livelihoods, and losing loved ones. Anything I can do to help, I’m all about it,” shared Sandra Pedrazine of Brazos County.
Pedrazine is pleading with the nursing community, saying, that anyone who has time to help, should apply to become a volunteer.
“From the beginning these nurses, doctors, EMTs, and MAs have been working on the front lines." Pedrazine shared.
"They are tired, they need the help, and it's part of what we knew when we originally took part in the field, that , we’re in to help, and to back up the rest of the medical community. Just like when we were in the field, now it’s time our time to give back, to help them out," Pedrazine added.
St. Joseph Health says these volunteers will play a critical role in their vaccine clinics.
“We would like to work on plans to expand on a large scale, but in order to do that, we really have to have enough hands to be able to safely administer the vaccine,” shared LaPaglia.
How to volunteer:
If you are interested in volunteering, and would like more information or to schedule an interview, please reach out to the contact below via phone or email:
Volunteer Services Manager at St. Joseph Health