Rapid City Regional Hospital staff sleeps in hospital to be ready for winter storm

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RAPID CITY, S.D, (KEVN) - To prepare for the storm, the Rapid City Regional Hospital brought in extra food, medications and beds.

If you walk through the hospital you might stumble upon signs advising people to 'please be quiet.' Lights are out and blinds are shut to give 144 caregivers a place to rest before the night shift.

The Director of Nursing Operations Stephanie Battell, said the hospital is more prepared for people to stay at work this time around.

A few days ago, they brought in more than 100 mattresses and 50 cots for employees. Even though some brought their own supplies.

The hospital needs all hands on deck to take care of 231 patients on Wednesday, including some from out of state.

"We do have some patients that did fly in for certain procedures today and they were already here yesterday. So we definitely continued with those procedures which was a big deal and we have patients waiting eight plus months for some procedures," Battell said.

On winter storm days like this, meals are free. So, 45 people are providing meals to patients and staff.

But the hospital's main priority is to treat patients and safely release them, even if it requires getting a hotel.

"If a family member or a patient were to need a hotel because they weren't able to make it home and they would be more comfortable going to hotel rather than staying here an additional day, then we would definitely put them in a hotel. We have a great care management team that helps coordinate that and gets them there as long as the roads are safe to get them there," Battell said.

The hospital has an updated map of the clinics in the area and their statuses throughout the winter storm.