Changes to community settings: assessment centres
Nurses may be redeployed to settings that support the increasing need of testing of community members, such as assessment centres. Assessment centres have been established in many provinces across Canada to support enhanced testing of individuals for COVID-19. The centres operate as out-of-hospital clinics located in the community, or less frequently in or near a hospital, where health-care providers triage, assess and test (if eligible) individuals for COVID-19. Assessment centres are often coordinated by local public health units and are used to manage the increasing need for testing of patients, and to steer potential COVID-19 cases away from vulnerable persons in emergency departments and hospitals. To learn more about assessment centres near you, visit your local health unit or provincial webpage for more details.
Changes to acute care settings: surge capacity
Many of Canada’s emergency departments and hospitals were experiencing challenges with capacity prior to COVID-19, therefore ensuring surge capacity during COVID-19 will require significant investment of resources and innovative solutions. Provinces and hospitals are reviewing and developing surge protocols1,2,3 in response to current and future needs due to COVID-19. Employers should ensure nurses are included in decision-making processes and that all staff are notified and trained appropriately to meet surge capacity needs. Nurses should ensure they are aware of their institutions surge capacity protocols.