EMT's Can Now Work At L.A. Nursing Homes, Helping Fill Staff Shortages | KCET
EMT's Can Now Work At L.A. Nursing Homes, Helping Fill Staff Shortages
The following article was originally published May 4, 2020, and republished through a collaboration with KPCC and LAist.
Story by Jackie Fortiér
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT's) have temporary permission to work in L.A. County nursing homes to help alleviate staffing shortfalls due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Nearly 2,000 health care workers and first responders have contracted COVID-19, most of them through their jobs, according to county health officials.
Dr. Marianne Gauche-Hill is the medical director for L.A County's Emergency Medical Services, the agency that made the temporary rule change. She said the EMT's and paramedics will temporarily be able to administer drugs like inhalers and intravenous medications under the supervision of a nurse or doctor.
"A number of these EMT's are furloughed and can't get a position right now, so this creates a unique opportunity for us to leverage that workforce to help out in COVID-related response," she said.
Currently, the California National Guard is plugging staffing holes at five nursing homes in L.A. County, but Gauche-Hill doesn't expect that to last.
"Ultimately, we have to be able to meet our own need locally, so that's why I thought it was a good idea to go ahead and expand the potential of our workforce," she said.
About 2,000 EMT's and paramedics will be connected with area employers, including nursing homes.
A new COVID-19 testing site opened at Dodger Stadium today, which city officials say will accommodate three times more people than any other testing site in Los Angeles County.
In an announcement that will delight shaggy-haired residents statewide, Gov. Gavin Newsom today cleared the way for barbershops and hair salons to open in some counties.
L.A. County parks and beaches were filled with both the cautious and undeterred during the first major holiday since the economy began to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles County today reopened some beach parking lots and authorized retail businesses inside enclosed shopping malls to reopen with curbside pickup service only.
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