National Guard members arrive at Princeton Community Hospital

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Princeton Community Hospital is one of 29 medical centers in the state to request assistance from the National Guard in response to the increased demand from COVID-19. 

Seven national guardsmen and a supervisor arrived at the hospital on Tuesday, Jan 25 and went through an orientation to learn about what they’d be doing. The guard is serving in a non-clinical capacity.

Hospital CEO Karen Bowling says it’s a huge help to have the national guard. 

“When you have the volume of patients that we have, and the turnover of patients – a large number coming into the emergency room, a large volume that are discharged and have to be admitted from the emergency room – it requires a lot of additional help to turnover the rooms and make sure everything’s clean.” 

Linen services and cleaning the rooms has become more complex since the start of the pandemic. The hospital says it takes a lot of time to ensure everything is done right and make the room ready for another patient. 

Bowling added this extra help is a morale boost, and helps out with the current burden on the staff.

“Our folks are working hard, working overtime, we’re all doing what we need to do to serve this community. And seeing the Guard here to jump in and help is really good I think for morale.” 

An eighth member of the national guard is expected to arrive at the hospital later this week. They’ll continue helping on other non-clinical tasks for the foreseeable future. 

Roughly 40% of West Virginia hospitals have requested assistance from the national guard.

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