woman clutching stomach in pain

Monday, April 27, 2020

Norman Regional Health System has created a local phone number, staffed by nurses at the health system to help people seeking testing and treatment for the coronavirus or COVID-19.

People in Norman, Moore, south Oklahoma City and other areas the health system serves can call the Norman Regional COVID-19 hotline at 405-515-4328. It is answered by a person 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Registered nurses from the Health System’s Transitions of Care team answer the hotline, ask a series of screening questions and then guide callers through care options. Those options can include:

  • Scheduling an appointment for COVID-19 testing at the NRHS mobile testing lab location
  • Recommending calling 911 or seeking emergency care at an Emergency Department
  • Connecting the caller with a healthcare provider who best fits the situation – including in person or virtual visits with a physician
  • Monitor symptoms at home

Since launching on March 16, 2020, the hotline has answered more than 1,200 calls.

“As a local health system, we understand the importance of staying local for healthcare. Our nurses are able to match people with resources and testing sites close to them,” said Kristin O’Neal, RN, manager of the Transitions of Care service. O’Neal also is one of the nurses who answers calls.

“This hotline has given both providers and patients a round-the-clock live person to speak to regarding symptom management, the latest testing options and to alleviate their fears. Patients have voiced much appreciation of being able to talk to a ‘real person.’”

Nurses answering the hotline have been able to reassure patients that they are taking appropriate steps, coordinated with the Emergency Department, and arranged patient testing for local physicians and surgeons, O’Neal said.

“Our team has been able to educate and relieve concerns regarding management at home, when to go to ED, and patient care at the hospitals,” O’Neal said.

“Many young people who don’t have a primary healthcare provider because they are otherwise healthy are calling with concerns and needing guidance on how to care for themselves or their loved ones with COVID-19. Our nurses are able to educate them on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as well as how to care for those around them who might be at risk.”

The signs of COVID-19 include a dry cough, fever of above 100F and shortness of breath. People exhibiting those symptoms can call the hotline.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.