Rapid City doctor appears on CNN as hospitals face staffing shortages

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 10:07 AM MST
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A Rapid City doctor takes the national stage this Tuesday morning as she talked about the pandemic here in South Dakota.

Dr. Nancy Babbitt was on Good Day this morning on CNN Tuesday along with Dr. Michael LeBeau from North Dakota.

Babbitt talked about the staffing crunch at area hospitals and the negative effect that’s having on patients and talked about how high positivity rates on testing here has her concerned.

She said the South Dakota Department of Health’s website shows hospital beds and ventilators are available, but she said she has spoken to health care providers at the hospital, who say there are serious staffing issues.

“I spoke to a nurse last week and she was devastated because the nurses are finding COVID patients are so weak that they can’t get out of bed, and the nurses are not able to get them, get to them in time to help them get to the bathroom, and so, they’re having stool and urinary incontinence in their bed because the staffing is so stressed and short-staffed right now,” said Babbitt.

We reached out to Monument Health for an interview, and they instead released a statement that read:

“Although our hospitals are very busy, Monument Health continues to maintain a high standard of care for every patient in our care. We do not substantiate Dr. Babbitt’s comments. We’re extremely focused on delivering high-quality care and providing a caring experience. We appreciate our caregivers’ dedication as they put in extra shifts and go above and beyond to serve our communities in these unprecedented times.”

Babbitt also discussed the problem of misinformation about the virus.


“So when I hear patients talk about conspiracy theories like this is germ warfare or this is overblown,” Babbitt said. “I hear that all the time. I just try to educate, educate, educate I absolutely do not care what the political views of my patients are, I don’t think most doctors do. I think politicians care about the political views of people and that has impacted how the public is getting educated about this pandemic.”

Doctor Babbitt says she believes Gov. Kristi Noem should be turning to the experts to lay out a plan to combat the pandemic.

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