'Heart-wrenching': St. Claire nurse on omicron

Posted at 10:53 PM, Jan 11, 2022

(LEX 18) — About five months after state and federal teams were first deployed to Saint Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, the administrative director of acute care nursing said she is worried about the recent escalation of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"What we're seeing is another surge yet again," said Courtney Hollingsworth, RN, MSN. "It's the fourth one that we've seen."

Governor Andy Beshear deployed the Kentucky National Guard this week to help overburdened hospitals. He said 445 National Guard troops would fan out to 30 health care facilities in the state.

As of now, St. Claire has not been identified as one of those facilities, but Hollingsworth said she believed the hospital would need additional support soon.

"It seemed like with the delta variant we more gradually went up and we were extremely pressed," Hollingsworth said. "This seems like it just shot up."

In late August, the Kentucky National Guard and a National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) team arrived at St. Claire, as the hospital was overwhelmed by a surge fueled by the delta variant.

"We aren't to that moment yet," Hollingsworth said. "But this is escalating very quickly."

St. Claire has 99 patients who are receiving care, according to a hospital spokesperson. The intensive care unit is full, with 14 patients. Of the 16 hospital patients with COVID-19, 12 are not fully vaccinated.

"I cannot express enough how heart-wrenching it is to hear patients that are getting ready to be put on a ventilator and struggling to breathe talk about how they wish they would've been vaccinated," Hollingsworth said.