Background: As much as hospital organizations like to be prepared for worst-case scenarios, situations inevitably arise that are unanticipated for which no amount of preparation would ever suffice. One such scenario was the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Hospitals had to use their existing staff in order to meet the onslaught of patients presenting with COVID-19. Purpose: The aim of this paper is to review the various COVID unit hospital staffing models that were implemented during the influx of patients with COVID-19 and then to examine their sustainability and adaptability to response models for future disasters. Hospitals are equipped with rapid response teams and some with disaster response teams, but neither is designed to be on a massive scale or for an extended duration. Which teams worked well, and can any be used in future disaster response staffing models? Conclusions: An adaptive and sustainable disaster response team is more about the members who make up the team, than it is about the response. The training and knowledge of health care providers determines staffing model adaptability and these characteristics can be targeted when making decisions on hiring, training, ongoing education, and staff assignments.

Author Bio(s)

LaKeisha Day, PA-C, CMQ has served as the Advanced Practice Provider Supervisor for the Nocturnal Program at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center for the past eight years. Presently, she is pursuing a Doctor of Medical Science Degree at A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Health Sciences. She is also certified in Medical Quality.


Dr. Randy Danielsen, Professor Medical Writing, ATSU Anayo Mbadugha, PA-C, colleague and supporter




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