The Truth Behind Hospital Tents
Seeing tents in front of hospitals or in once public places meant for recreation may be a scary sight for all of us just riding out this pandemic. Perhaps your thinking “the situation is worse than I thought” or “what am I supposed to do if I need medical attention?” or even “what if I need to get tested? Where do I go?”. Being nervous is perfectly normal, but you don’t need to be scared when you see hospital tents. They are being installed to help keep people safe, and manage COVID-19 in the best way possible. Let us answer some vital questions that you may have about these hospital tents.
Why Hospital Tents?
Why tents? Tents are fast to set up but also durable to stay up for long periods of time. Additionally, tents are easier to disinfect than an entire building. It creates a space, out of the elements, to test and treat without overfilling the hospital itself. Thus, this system prevents the hospital becoming a hotbed for spreading the virus. The only people going to these tents are those with a high chance of having corona-virus and medical professionals in protective gear. So, unless you’ve done a phone screening and have been directed to go to these testing tents, it’s best to continue to stay at home.
The point of emergency tents is to organize and identify patients before they enter the hospital. By testing and sorting everyone without entering the actual hospital prevents the virus from spread to those who are very vulnerable inside. Those suspected of COVID-19 can be tested and from there it can be decided if they need to isolate at home or get more extensive treatment inside. These medical tents help prevent the virus from spreading and from overwhelming the hospital itself.
Everything You Need to Know About Testing Tents
What is the purpose of the emergency tents?
There are two types of goals for emergency tents, depending on what the hospital needs to manage the COVID-19 outbreak. First type is meant for testing quickly and efficiently. Second type is meant for emergency response treatment. Both of them aim to increase the capacity of those who can be treated while also minimizing the risk of speaking the virus in the hospital. Hence every hospital may plan their tents differently, depending on how their unique situation has to be handled.
Trust that the hospitals and medical professionals know what their doing. In fact, this isn’t the first time tents have had to be used during an outbreak! Moreover, it is a very common practice and has been done throughout history. It looks scary, especially since many of us can’t remember a time that hospitals have had to use tents in our lifetime before this. Thus, be assured that it is a safe and practical course of action that is being used to help everyone be safe.
These tents are also not like one you’d use for camping. They are built sturdy, spaciously and with amenities like heating, AC, beds and water access. Think of these tents more like a pop-up building! Therefore it is a great alternative than having everyone, with COVID-19 or not, flood into the same ER. This not only would overwhelm the hospital but also increase the spread of the virus.
What happens at testing tents?
Testing tents are built to make the COVID-19 testing quicker, safer and more efficient. A lot of people may need to be tested and if they are positive it is ideal that they had little chance to give it to someone else. This process would easily overwhelm any medical center and it would be potentially dangerous.
Some tents are merely for testing safely and conveniently. In some places where the outbreak hit hard, tents have also been set up to become treatment centers. Treatment tents, like a building, can have floors and can be heated or air-conditioned for the comfort of those inside. They truly are like pop-up buildings!
For example, some tents are made to be like doctor’s offices, patients who need treatment of something like a sprained ankle might be treated there rather than in the hospital where the severe cases of corona are. On the other hand, some tents are set up to house patients with cases of COVID-19 that aren’t mild enough to be sent home.
How does the testing process go?
The process starts at home, over the phone with a doctor. Firstly, they will do the preliminary screening and decide if you should get tested. If you need to get tested or not, it is important to follow their directions carefully. Furthermore, if you need testing they will tell you where you can do so.
Next, you’ll drive there and a medical professional will check you in. They’ll escort you from your car to, possibly the testing tent, or other testing facilities. Afterwards, they will check your vitals, ask some questions and then do a nasal swab. It is uncomfortable but not painful. Then they will direct you on what to do next. If you don’t need urgent treatment then they’ll most likely give you instructions on how to quarantine at home.
This has helped medical professionals to help people quickly and effectively. With a good system in place and tents ready – doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel can process on average 15 patients (that could have normally gone to the ER) in an hour. Additionally, pharmacies have also teamed up to help provide fast treatment in these medical tents.
So what goes on in these tents? The same that would happen in the hospital, except the treatment room looks different than usual and your medical professionals are more dressed than normal.
What happens at Emergency Response Tents?
These tents might be used if the hospital has a large number of cases to handle – major cities are more likely to need hospital tents than rural areas. Hospitals can only hold so many. Moreover, professionals want to avoid getting someone sick when they are already in less-than-perfect health. Thus, in order to care for more people and keep COVID-19 cases separate from other patients a hospital may choose to put up emergency tents.
Hospital tents would be set up to be treatment centers specializing in the virus. Alternatively, these tents might become centers for treating other conditions while still keeping them safe from COVID-19. This set up might be familiar to anyone who many have served in the military. When soldiers may not have been in an area where they could go to a proper hospital building. Again, it sounds scary but it’s perfectly safe. If you need treatment please be sure to seek it and follow directions carefully so everyone can stay safe.