Nurses, other employees needed at University Hospital to open COVID-19 cohort at Summerville campus


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Just like many other places, help is wanted at University Hospital. Administrators are looking to reopen a COVID-19 unit at the Summerville campus or the old Trinity Hospital on Wrightsboro Road but there’s not enough staff to do it.

“You might be the only reporter in the community who actually got a look inside what was our COVID cohort unit this past winter,” said Laurie Ott, Vice President of Human Resources and Community Services at University Health Care System. Ott also serves as President of the University Health Care Foundation.

Right now, hospital rooms at University’s Summerville campus are quiet.

Ott said, “It’s been thoroughly cleaned and it’s ready once we get the staff to care for patients over here. That’s what we’re waiting for.”

The hospital needs nurses. Positions are open for intermediate, licensed practical nurses, and in the emergency department.

“Georgia, South Carolina, in particular, have some of the worst nursing shortages in the country and pandemic does not make a nursing shortage better. It makes it harder,” explained Ott.

As of Wednesday, University admitted 16 new coronavirus patients to their downtown Augusta campus bringing the total to 94.

Ott said, “A bed isn’t a bed if there’s not someone to staff it. So like you just saw, 25 beds on the unit here A-1 at Summerville. We wouldn’t count those as beds because we don’t have staff to take care of patients in those beds.”

University Hospital to hold COVID vaccination clinic

The hospital’s chief nursing officer has asked Governor Brian Kemp to assist them in finding about 30 nurses for their open jobs according to Ott.

She said, “We’re still waiting and very hopeful that the governor will be able to allocate nurses to us.”

Some things at University Hospital in downtown Augusta have been put on hold due to the pandemic. Ott hopes opening up University’s Summerville campus would alleviate some of the pressure.

University Hospital is a magnet hospital which means nurses can take the lead on patient care.

For the nursing hiring hotline call (706) 774-5737. You will talk with a real person.

For open positions at University Hospital, click or tap here.

University Health Care System will host a patient care assistant hiring event on August 18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the University Hospital Heart & Vascular lobby.

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