100 traveling medical workers heading to North Texas hospitals to help during delta variant surge

Additional staff in the form of travel nurses and respiratory therapists are arriving at North Texas hospitals.

So far, nearly 100 of those traveling medical workers are going to two of our largest hospitals.  More are expected.

COVID-19 patients continue to increase at a rapid pace as hospital staff waits for relief. Texas hospitals continue to be spread thin when it comes to staffing during the delta variant surge. 

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Reinforcements in the form of traveling medical staff are on their way weeks after the state initially turned down helping hospitals.

"There are some staff that are really coming into the DFW area as we speak, and they have to be on board and to the hospitals," said Stephen Love with the DFW Hospital Council "And we hope some of that can start as early as maybe tomorrow. And there's a second wave that's going to be coming next week."

Parkland Hospital in Dallas says it is expected to get 54 additional staff members. 19 of them are ICU nurses, 10 respiratory therapists to help with ventilators and about 25 nurses to help with day-to-day recoveries.

Last week, Parkland’s chief of medicine said there were nearly 500 vacancies from a prolonged shortage made worse by the pandemic.

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John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth told FOX 4 it's expecting nearly 40 nurses and support staff. 

Overall, about 2,500 additional staff are coming to Texas, with North Texas getting a fraction.

"We'd probably get about 750 to 800 of those," Love said. "Don't get me wrong, we're very appreciative for that. But that may not be enough, depending on how big this surge gets."

The help is coming as hospitalizations continue to creep up.

In North Texas, nearly 2,900 COVID patients are in the hospital. A majority of them are not vaccinated. 

There are only 69 ICU beds available for our 19-county region.

In children’s hospitals, there are only two staffed pediatric ICU beds.

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"Some models show the surge in hospitals will continue for two to three more weeks. Some show that it could go four weeks," Love said.

Baylor Scott & White would not say how many staff members they will get, only saying in a statement they look forward to welcoming more medical personnel.