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Susan Ashcraft

Susan Ashcraft, RN, APN

Advanced Practice Nurse
Interim Stroke Reviewer, The Joint Commission


Susan Ashcraft shares how her organization prepared for the increased patient load.

Ramping up to fight COVID-19


“The first week of the outbreak we worked to set up specific protocols for COVID patients which really allowed our organization to effectively treat them. We stopped elective procedures the first week, and physician offices and clinics were closed except for urgent needs. And to meet the needs of the influx of patients we had to repurpose staff. My role, for example, has shifted from a system level Advanced Practice Nurse overseeing our neuro-critical care units, to rounding in our COVID-19 units. We developed education so that nurses could transition into critical care, from outpatient to inpatient, or so surgical staff could move out of the OR if they wanted to work.”

“We've had a lot of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. It's not been unmanageable, but we're gearing up for the next few weeks. It has been shared with us that this is when we're really going to hit our peak. We're getting ourselves ready and making sure that everything is where it needs to be, both for now and for the future. Hopefully many of the positive things that we're seeing will continue even after COVID-19 is behind us, because whether we see the second wave this fall or another pandemic down the road, at least we will have learned from our trials and errors, and what we can do better in the future.”