Brooks Memorial hits max capacity, highlighting need for more staff

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jan 13, 2021

DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WKBW) — The pandemic has led to a tough year for many hospitals, and Brooks Memorial in Dunkirk is no exception.

"Where everyone else was experiencing the difficulties back in the spring, it has kind of shifted to the southern tier," Tracie Luther, director of HR at Brooks Memorial said.

According to the hospital, 60% of its inpatient volume is COVID-19 related. The hospital has been stretched even more thin as a result.

"If you have one person out (with COVID-19) and others are exposed then you don't have the staff," Luther said.

That played a part in the hospital putting a Surge Diversion in place from 7pm Tuesday until 8am Wednesday. Surge Diversions mean EMS agencies are directed to take stable patients to other hospitals due to 100% capacity at Brooks. It's something that has become fairly common for many hospitals in the era of COVID-19 staff shortages.

The hospital now has more than 20 opening positions in the OR, ER, ICU and everywhere in between.

"We have a need from our house keeping staff to our registered nurses," Luther said.

All open positions can be found at the Brooks Memorial website here.