Respiratory Services opens at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital

Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s Bitterroot Physicians Clinic has opened a Respiratory Services location to serve patients experiencing acute respiratory symptoms, for the safety of the staff and patients, and to help community members feel comfortable going to the hospital during this coronavirus pandemic.

Family Nurse Practitioner Katherine Dexter can usually be seen at the Marcus Daly Convenient Care Clinic but is now at the Respiratory Services location.

Dexter said Respiratory Services was established to offer a separate, safe and private location, so patients with respiratory symptoms are not waiting among other patients.

“We’d like to keep patients with respiratory symptoms not sitting in a waiting room,” she said. “We’re developing this service so patients without respiratory symptoms feel comfortable sitting in their regular doctor’s waiting room. Particularly people with diabetes, heart disease or hypertension, we really don’t want them exposed to someone with a cough.”

The entrance to the Respiratory Services location is a tent structure, similar to a MASH unit, to provide less opportunity for exposure. The entry has a triage nurse and patients with respiratory symptoms are taken directly to a room. If there are too many patients then they wait in their car until staff can come get them.

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