WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Hospitals are not the only health care organizations struggling with the coronavirus. The visiting nursing industry is apparently getting hit hard as well.
When WFMZ visited Maximum Care in Whitehall Township, Lehigh County Wednesday, the phones would not stop ringing.
"It has risen to a level that is really overwhelming and challenging," says Director of Operations Hope Claypoole.
The business, which has provided in-home care from visiting nurses since 1982, is experiencing a shortage of workers and supplies. Maximum Care typically employs 200 workers to service 450 clients in 17 counties across the state but the nurses are having a hard time keeping up.
"We are tracking how many clients may not be getting the service and how many workers are out of work right now and I mean it's a significant impact for sure," says Claypoole.
Fiscal Director Karolina Belusko says the nurses on the frontlines are feeling vulnerable.
"No one feels really secure because we don't know too much about the virus yet but everybody's kinda scared and our goal is to keep our patients and employees safe," says Belusko.
In the meantime, Maximum Care is working to train backup nurses to try and provide some relief.
"The dedication and the loyalty that our caregivers have given has really motivated us in the office to just want to continue to keep on going and really to fight the fight right now," says Claypoole.