Nurses in the SICU/CVT-ICU quickly transitioned to a team staffing model in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic surge to increase their ability to care for critically ill patients requiring ECMO support for survival.
Staff from different areas in the hospital, participated in the staffing model changes, including medical-surgical, women and children’s, NICU, and PICU RNs, ECMO specialist RNs from NICU/PICU, and PCTs and NA2s.
Use of the team model allowed for condensing the number of ICU RNs utilized in order to be better able to support the temporary COVID ICUs as well.
Success of the team nursing model required flexibility, collaboration, open communication and transparency from all staff involved.
Guidelines, resources and tip sheets for the staffing plans and staff responsibilities were created by unit leadership and the CNS team to ensure clarifications of roles among the different team members.
These changes ultimately led to the highest number of ECMO patients ever accommodated in the SICU/CVT-ICU at one time (12). Additionally, outcomes for the COVID-19 patients who received ECMO support during their stay have been overwhelmingly positive.
The SICU/CVT-ICU team and supporting staff adapted to unprecedented measures during the COVID-19 surge and were able to achieve great outcomes with the team nursing model while continuing to provide the high-quality care for which Rush is known.