The Oregon National Guard Men Who Were Stationed At The State Hospital Said, “I Could Work Here

A collaboration between the Oregon National Guard and Oregon State Hospital that was established during the epidemic is helping the hospital deal with personnel shortages.

Guard troops stepped up to fill staffing shortages at hospitals around the state in the summer of 2021 as COVID-19 reached its peak. When OSH asked for assistance, 32 guardsmen, including Zenas Sigrah, gave it.

Sigrah admitted that she was anxious to start working here. “I remember the bars on the windows when I was a kid; it’s a mental institution, but then working here with some of the patients โ€” they’re just regular people like us who do need help,” the employee said.

Sigrah was tasked with performing food service jobs during his mission. But as the months went by, he became aware of more chances at the hospital that did not include his work as a guard.

“Oh, I can handle this, I thought. He said, “I could work here.

After their duty finished in June of last year, 10 guard members, including Sigrah, applied to work at the public hospital. Sigrah is currently a technician in mental health therapy. He spends his days accompanying patients to meals, therapy appointments, or simply spending some time with them.

Dice is often their favourite game to play up there, so we’ll play cards, said Sigrah.

The Oregon National Guard Men Who Were Stationed
The Oregon National Guard Men Who Were Stationed

More than 200 job openings, from medical to clerical roles, are now available at the hospital, according to hospital officials; however, they acknowledged that it can be difficult to attract individuals to apply.

Angie Johnson, the director of nursing at OSH, said: “I believe being hurt is definitely one of the primary fears individuals would have.” And although it does happen occasionally, it doesn’t always.

Johnson emphasised that not all jobs carry that level of danger and that prevention measures include training. She referred to the need for more workers as critical.

The best patient care possible is our aim, according to Johnson. “If we are fully staffed, the workload is less stressful.”

The unexpected influx of guard member applications was the result of an opportunity to test the waters. Johnson hopes that people will take the initiative to look for rewarding positions within the hospital on their own.

One of the most important things, in my opinion, is the ability to assist others who are in need, said Johnson. People come to us when they are at their lowest, and we are able to assist them in overcoming that to reach a place where they may live a happy life in the community.

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