Ken Crosby, Internal Medicine PA standing front of the North Bay Regional Health Centre simulation room
The North Bay Regional Health Centre has done extensive planning and preparation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Internal Medicine (IM) group along with our three Internal Medicine PAs have taken on new responsibilities.
The day to day changes to our job depends on which service we are working that day.
One service the IM group operates is leading the 16 bed Critical Care Unit. This week as we are yet to have a confirmed COVID-19 case requiring mechanical ventilation the PAs are working in multidisciplinary teams alongside Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Anesthesia Assistants, physiotherapists and others to simulate and practice prone positioning ventilation.
When needed the PAs will work with IM physicians and Anesthesiologists to provide care to critically ill COVID-19 patients. The PAs continue to provide care to patients who are not COVID-19 positive but still require CCU.
The other major service the IM group operates is the consultation service throughout the remainder of the hospital.
Here all COVID-19 patients that are stable enough to be managed outside the CCU will be under the care of the IM physicians and PAs.
This means the PAs are assessing and managing confirmed, presumptive, or possible COVID-19 cases while they require hospitalization. This is in addition to the usual duties of IM consultations and follow ups.