COVID-19 Q&A: ‘We need you,’ nursing leader tells workers

Sanford's Diana Berkland says safety and data will help in 'unprecedented times'

Sanford Health nursing leader Diana Berkland talks about the nursing workforce.

“Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.”

That was just one of many messages Diana Berkland delivered during a live Q&A with Sanford Health News host Courtney Collen on Sunday afternoon.

Watch video: Q&A with Diana Berkland on Facebook Live

The vice president of nursing and clinical services can’t stress prevention measures enough.

“Safety is a top priority. It always has been and always will be as we go through these unprecedented times,” Berkland said. “When you think about COVID-19, none of us have immunity to that virus, so PPE (personal protective equipment) is really important.”

Sanford Health is not experiencing a shortage of supplies. Berkland and other Sanford Health leaders are confident “we’ll have what we need when we need it.”

Berkland calls all health care professionals the “most important asset” to Sanford. She emphasized things all employees should continue doing: washing hands, using but safely conserving PPE that can be reused, and practicing social distancing.

A first for all of us

“We need you in a way that we haven’t needed you before because we’re in uncharted waters,” Berkland said. “We’ve never navigated through these kinds of situations before.”

Leaders are looking at data-based predictive modeling to consider a number of scenarios to ensure the right resources are available at the most critical times.

“What would happen if our volume surged 10%, 20%, or 50%?” Berkland said. “What staffing situations might we get into? What are the supply needs we’ll have? That’s taking the predictive model, applying science and logic.”

A message to all caregivers

“Please know you are at the front and center of all of our decisions. We care deeply about each and every one of you. Grant yourself and your colleagues grace as we go through these unprecedented times. Forgive yourselves if you’re not doing things perfectly. We are whole people caring for whole people in a very vulnerable time for many of us,” Berkland said.

“This is unprecedented, and every single moment matters in how it is that we handle those things. Blessings to each of you as we work together in the coming weeks, the coming months. Your safety is our top priority because you’re going to be the persons who will be delivering care at the point of service every hour of the day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Blessings and God’s peace to all of you.”

We will continue our Live Q&A series on Facebook throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Posted In Coronavirus, Expert Q&A

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