Members of the Massachusetts National Guard began deploying Monday to more than 50 hospitals and a dozen ambulance services across the state, in a new push by Gov. Charlie Baker to bolster the healthcare system as the omicron variant surges and healthcare providers struggle with staffing shortfalls.

Baker announced last week that he was activating up to 500 Guard members to provide temporary nonclinical support statewide for up to 90 days, and that up to 300 would begin training immediately at sites across the state.

Hospital leaders told GBH News that the additional hands will be vital as staffing shortages impact them at every level.

At Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, COO Diana Richardson said Monday that six Guard members had started their onsite training early that morning. By the end of the week, she said, they would be able to perform a variety of tasks, from processing people arriving for COVID vaccinations and testing to transporting patients from the emergency room to their beds following admission.

“Our emergency room, as you can imagine, is quite busy, and so we will be deploying four of our troops there to assist with patient transport,” Richardson said.

In addition, Richardson said, the four guard members stationed in the ER would help observe patients with mental-health issues as they await suitable treatment.

“I think we all have heard about the shortage of behavioral health beds, which means patients are often waiting longer periods of time in the emergency room to get a bed.” Richardson said. “So they’ll be able to assist with that as well.”

The list of hospitals slated to benefit from the new initiative runs the gamut geographically, from Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester to Boston institutions like Tufts Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, where six Guard members will be assisting with operational support.

At UMass Memorial Health Harrington, in Southbridge, Jason Osborne, the hospital’s manager of emergency management and preparedness, said Monday afternoon that two Guard members had already been trained to work in the public-safety department.

The trickle-down benefit from just two new temporary colleagues would be significant, he added.

“It’s extremely helpful, because right now we’re deploying our public safety to do a variety of things, from running our traffic flow for our vaccine site [to] some other things,” Osborne said. “So this allows us to redeploy those units, or staff, more strategically, to be able to accomplish everything we need to accomplish.”

Richardson, the Tufts Medical Center COO, also said that what might seem like a relatively modest boost in staffing would be invaluable for her institution.

“This shortage of staff that we are seeing, really, across the system. ... Everyone immediately thinks of the physicians and the nurses, but it also applies to non-clinical roles,” she said. “And when the non-clinical support staff aren’t there, the clinical staff has to pick up that slack. So having additional resources on the support side is hugely helpful to make sure that the clinical staff can really focus on care of the patient.”