With most civilians at the Dugway Occupational Health Clinic working at home during the pandemic, Soldiers have been busy providing service and completing tasks requiring on-scene involvement.
They are answering the main phone line, taking package deliveries, doing initial screening of patients and doing what can’t be done from civilians’ homes.
The main entrance has been temporarily modified to accept only deliveries. Patients and personnel must use the ambulance entrance, on the south side. Equipment has been moved around to consolidate nearly all patient needs into a consolidated area. Two exceptions are the rooms for radiology and audiology; because of their massive equipment they are still in the same rooms.
“If we have a patient come in, we do the initial screening for COVID-19 and the civilian at home does some of the paperwork,” Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Barth said. “There’s some of the paperwork we have to do, and the civilians prep the paperwork.”
Most of the paperwork is able to be done by the civilian working from home, Barth noted. An exception is the occupational technician, a civilian who continues to work at the clinic Monday through Thursday, because he works closely with the offices on post.
Civilians do all the ordering of supplies. When they arrive at the clinic, they are distributed by Soldiers as directed by the civilian. The civilian, certified paramedics are still providing ambulance response, always alongside civilian EMTs or Soldiers with much experience. Civilian firefighters, law enforcement and security continue to provide their services without reduction as well.
The patient workload has gone down, with most seen today for blood draws. Four physicians rotate between DPG and Tooele Army Depot; one of them does only telework. Two are full time on scene, and one is part time.
Due to Army guidelines, screening of personnel that are not mission-essential has been suspended.
“The day to day operations of our people have been impacted,” Barth said.
“The people working at home have had to meet the same responsibilities as before, but they had to figure out new ways to do it.”
Though the number of Soldiers on DPG isn’t as much as most other posts, they have stepped up to fill in for civilians working from home.