VA San Diego Healthcare System
VA Fourth Mission - Supporting Nursing Homes in LA
To help fulfill VA's Fourth Mission of supporting the nation's healthcare system during national emergencies, six VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) nurses were deployed to Los Angeles nursing homes in early May, due to a surge of non-Veteran patients at risk of contracting COVID-19. Teams from all VISN 22 facilities have been deployed to provide nursing consultation services and augmenting long-term care staff to care for nursing home patients.
The VASDHS nursing team included one registered nurse, four licensed vocational nurses, and one certified nurse assistant. "Because of my military experience, I step up and take the initiative," said Josephine Marshall, a nine-year Navy Veteran with experience in nursing facilities.
When the San Diego team arrived at Stoney Point, the facility had 10 COVID-19 positive patients, one resident in the hospital, and was 29 staff short, including the director of nursing. Low on workforce and deeply affected by the current issues, the facility needed a boost. The VASDHS quickly jumped into action, providing patient care to cover the short staffing, including feeding, bathing, taking vitals, and passing meds. When the facility's needs stabilized, the team assisted with implementing policies and procedures for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The second facility, called Legacy, was smaller and in a difficult situation. Before COVID-19, the facility is going through several issues, such as staffing, funding, and patient care. Then pandemic hits. Once again, the VASDHS team let their training and experience kick in and delivered results to provide order to the facility before leaving.
The team reported that their overall experience between the two facilities was both humbling and rewarding. "They needed our help, and we're so grateful for everything we did," said Marshall. "As representatives for the VA, we were proud to step in and help these nursing home patients during this emergency."
VASDHS team members at Stoney Point were Fajardo Dayler, LVN, Ambulatory Care; Brian Ballestamon, LVN, SCI; Josephine (Josie) Marshall, RN, Special Procedure; Vincent Salinas, CNA, CLC; Learin McGuire, LVN, 5 East; Michelle Ealy, LVN, SCI. The Legacy team included Josephine (Josie) Marshall, RN, Special Procedure; Vincent Salinas, CNA, CLC; Learin McGuire, LVN, 5 East; Michelle Ealy, LVN, SCI; Wendy Soto, LVN, CLC; Brenda Fardellone, LVN, SCI.