On The Clock: Stories From Doctors And Nurses In Houston’s Only Downtown Hospital

Some doctors and nurses have been on the clock for almost a full week.

By Rachel Osier LindleySeptember 1, 2017 12:20 pm| , , , ,

From KERA:

St. Joseph Medical Center is downtown Houston’s only hospital, located just down the street from the convention where thousands of evacuees have been staying since Harvey hit.

In a natural disaster, nothing is routine

Trent Tankersley, director of emergency services at St. Joseph Medical Center, describes one tense situation after another in the hospital this week.

“We had a lady who the only vehicle heavy enough and strong enough to get to her through the floodwaters was a dump truck. She was pregnant. She was in labor. She was brought to the hospital in the dump bed of a dump truck, soaking wet.

“As we were getting her over to the women’s building to get taken care of, we had a trauma come in. Shortly after that, we had a young man [who] came in that was having a stroke.”

Tankersley showed up to work Saturday, and hasn’t had what you’d consider “a break” since.

“Finally got to go home last night for a couple hours and do some laundry and then came right back. So it’s been an interesting five or six days.”

More than 600 patients in five days

Kristen Benjamin, an associate chief nursing officer, has been right beside Tankersley.

“I think we’re all working on adrenaline right now. We’re working shift by shift. Some people are doing 15, 16-hour shifts. We let them go off and sleep. They come back in.”

They’ve seen more than 600 patients in five days. At times, they saw more patients in a few hours than they usually would in a whole day.

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