Shawnee hospital remains at max-capacity

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star
The Acute Care nurses at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital Shawnee.

COVID-19 continues to keep health care professionals working at breakneck speed.

Licensed for nearly 100 beds, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee has been running at and beyond capacity for several weeks now.

President Angi Mohr said the Shawnee hospital started approaching the 100-percent capacity range about a week after Thanksgiving and has continued to average beyond that since December.

“We have been ranging an average of at least 100 percent and up to 145 percent at times,” she said Thursday. “We have had to become very creative (in making space for patients).”

Mohr said the hospital's 18-bed emergency room has taking the brunt of the hit, as patients have been settled in some of those rooms created to house ER traffic.

“We've been having to keep some people there until beds open up upstairs,” she explained.

There have been times when 14 to 17 ER beds have held hospital patients waiting for a room.

Early on Mohr said the hospital's patient load had been averaging around 30 percent COVID-19 patients.

“Since about mid-December about 55 to 60 percent are COVID patients,” she said.

Mohr said the hospital has meetings twice a day to assess patient volume and staffing needs.

Non-emergent surgeries have been cancelled as there are no beds available, she said.

“We are not holding beds for that,” she said.

Mohr said wearing masks and continuing hand-hygiene is important for decreasing the spread of COVID-19.

As vaccines are now making their way through the state, Mohr said getting one is critical, especially for those with comorbidities.

“We know there's controversy around whether to get the vaccine or not,” she said. “If you are unsure, call your physician and have a conversation about it.”

For more information about COVID-19 or to schedule an appointment for the vaccine, residents can visit oklahoma.gov/covid19. Appointments also can be made through the Pottawatomie County Health Department. Visit vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.

Watch for updates.