Pinellas County hospital evacuates patients ahead of Hurricane Ian

As residents and businesses follow mandatory evacuations in Pinellas County on Monday, hospitals also prepared for Hurricane Ian.

HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital evacuated ahead of the storm, transporting nearly 40 patients by medical helicopter to other areas.

"It’s been busy. The day’s gone by extremely fast, so that’s good. But we are closing units, transferring patients, so very, very busy," said Isaiah Kafka, a registered nurse at HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital, who added that they talked their patients through the evacuation plan. "We’re going with you. We’re going to take great care of you. We’ll be there every step of the way. And they’ve kind of given that same energy right back to us like, ‘Okay, let’s go."

The hospital is right by water, and they are following mandatory evacuations for Zone A in Pinellas County.

RELATED: Know your zone: Florida evacuation zones, what they mean, and when to leave

"The majority of patients will be going outside of Pinellas County given where the storm is projected to go. Most are going to HCA Florida Trinity Hospital, and there are a handful of others going to other institutions based on their care or condition," said Brent Burish, the chief executive officer at HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital.

Kafka will follow his patients to their Trinity hospital and keep focused on who he’s there for.

"I’ve never experienced a hurricane before. I’ve been in Florida for about three years, so this is my first time," said Kafka. "[It’s] a little stressful to think about, but we’re just going to do what we do every day and that’s take care of the patients.

MORE: Florida suspending tolls, including in Bay Area, as evacuation orders are issued ahead of Ian

The emergency room will be closed during the storm and will reopen as soon as it’s safe. 

"First, we want to make sure that our patients and their loved ones know that they’re safe. So we’re setting up a family line. So, if family is out of town or evacuating themselves, they have a number to call in, be connected to wherever they’re loved one is and have updates on their care and condition," said Burish.