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Team Culture Supports St. Joseph’s Efforts to Redeploy Staff

Jennifer Hoover, left, and Kimberly Baransky complete employee screenings as they enter Penn State Health St. Joseph. Both nurses are among the St. Joseph employees who have taken on new roles as the coronavirus impacts hospital services and volumes.

Operating in a crisis where the situation changes almost daily, Penn State Health St. Joseph has found there is one constant — the dedication of its staff.

Faced with the unknowns that come with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the staff have responded with an amazing resolve when confronted with changing workflows and responsibilities, according to Rebecca Hackney, Magnet and nursing program coordinator.

“As we have consolidated some services and volumes change, we’ve had to adjust some roles and create others,” she says. “While staff may be asked to take on new roles as needed, we ensure they have the appropriate skillset. At no time will they be asked to work in an area that they are not competent for or that would put them at risk.”

Although staff redeployments continue to evolve, some examples include Post-Anesthesia Care Unit and Endoscopy nurses working in the drive-through COVID-19 testing site on the Bern Township campus, athletic trainers helping at the secondary drive-through lab testing site and with screening at many entrances and a radiology technician helping to stock supplies.

“They are stepping out of what is comfortable into the uncomfortable,” Hackney says. “It’s really awesome because the inpatient nursing units need the help.”

St. Joseph has designated a point person to assist each staff member who has been redeployed and answer any questions. Hackney collaborates with managers to determine where a need exists, assign the appropriate person and develop a work schedule.

“The staff is very open to redeployment. In fact, they’ve been pretty receptive to all the things we’ve asked them to do,” Hackney says. “It speaks to the culture we have at St. Joseph. Everyone just jumps in as a team and does what we need to do to get things done.”

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