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Hospitals redeploy healthcare workers to new departments amid coronaviurs pandemic

Posted at 10:36 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 23:36:47-04

KILLEEN, TX — Non-essential workers across the country have moved to unfamiliar jobs to fill needs of the coronavirus.

It is happening right here in Central Texas, and even our local healthcare workers are adapting to the times.

If you stop by AdventHealth Central Texas, you will typically find Registered Nurse Heather Felton in the endoscopy department.

"So assisting and sedating for colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, those types of things," explained Felton.

However, that is not where you will find her today. Just like a number of jobs across the country, her position is considered non-essential at this time.

"Our facility is really helping us to find other things we can do in the hospital," said Felton.

She has found her home away from home taking care of newborn babies and their mothers.

"Assessing them, making sure they're eating well and that they're feeling well before they get to go home," said Felton. "I had experience with that before I moved to Killeen."

They call it redeploying.

"Redeploy in the healthcare setting means to take you out of your original job description maybe and put you in a place where you can be the most valuable during any current situation," said Sarah Kennedy, Community Wellness Coordinator at AdventHealth Central Texas.

Usually planning big events for the hospital, Kennedy is also assisting where she can.

"Helping take temperatures for our employees, making sure all our employees are super healthy," said Kennedy. "I've been an assistant to videography. I've gotten to help implement some new protocols."

Their ultimate goal? Being there for you.

"We're going to get through this, but we need to work where we can work and help where we can help," said Felton.

Officials say the entire AdventHealthh system has pledged to pay all employees through June 6, as long as they are willing to redeploy.

AdventHealth Central Texas recently opened a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at the front of the hospital. Testing is available from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday only by appointment.