Monument Staff: “We are screening everyone at the door”

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Even patients being treated for trauma will be observed for COVID-19 according to Monument Health staff.

Being rushed into the emergency room doesn’t leave much room for COVID-19 testing, leaving health care workers most at risk for exposure. What happens when a patient first comes into the E.R.?

“First thing I do is make sure I’m protected,” said James Hale, an E.R. Nurse at Monument Health in Rapid City.

That means gear up with a N-95 mask, gloves, and a gown.

“Then I go take care of them and through the course of the treatment, we’re going to ask a lot of different questions and do a lot of tests that will lead us down a way that we’re going to go,” Hale said.

Unresponsive or unconscious patients will be tested based off their medical history or information about their current conditions.

“So if a patient comes in and has any of the signs or symptoms we are screening everyone at the door including patients, and any potential visitors,” said Jennifer Murray, the E.R. Director at Monument Health. “If they have any signs or symptoms as a patient that they be COVID-(19), we’re bringing them immediately to a room with a door and then keeping those other patients safely distanced.”

Testing everyone that comes through is not part of Monument’s E.R. Procedure. They observe patients for symptoms but do not have enough tests for each patient.

“We are really trying not to do that,” said Murray. “The testing is still limited and it’s been found that if patients are asymptomatic, it’s not very likely that they will test positive.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News