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Nurses from Colorado in Phoenix to help staff local hospital, more expected

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 16, 2020

PHOENIX — Several nurses from Colorado have come to Arizona to help staff a Phoenix area hospital.

On Tuesday, Banner Health announced that three nurses from North Medical Colorado Center in Greeley, Colorado have joined frontline health care workers at Banner -- University Medical Center Phoenix.

Their role will be to help treat hospitalized patients.

In a press release, Banner wrote, “Cameron Susa is a 25-year-old registered nurse with two years of nursing experience.”

“I feel that I am in the right position to step up and help people who are severely sick and need immediate medical attention,” said Susa.

"It was kind of a no-brainer for us. I mean the need was there and I knew I could help and I've been working in it. I have seen the peak already happen in one location so it’s just, you know, I decided to do it," added Michelle Breese who is currently working in the progressive care unit.

More team members are expected from Colorado to help support Banner hospitals in Arizona. However, a spokesperson for Banner would not tell us how many nurses or doctors are in need because the situation is fluid, and the numbers are changing.

“It’s a huge amount of patients getting sick at one specific time and I think that that’s the hardest part. It’s not necessarily a matter of having a bed open, it’s a matter of do we have the nursing staff?" said Breese.

Dr. Murtaza Akhter is an emergency room physician in Phoenix at the University of Arizona College of Medicine said he is seeing an increase in patients this week.

“The dramatic change that I noticed just yesterday compared to at work the week before was impressive to put it as positively as I can, it was kind of scary,” said Dr. Akhter.

Although we are seeing testing go up, so is the percent of positive cases.

“There’s national news and headlines about how the numbers are getting worse, and honestly I think it’s only going to continue to get worse from here at least for the next little while,” he said.

Dr. Akhter said he hopes he’s wrong, but from what he’s seeing, the cases will spike in the state’s numbers soon.