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COVID-19: N.S. searches for more long-term care workers during staff shortage

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The province of Nova Scotia is looking to fill some positions in long-term care facilities to address staffing shortages “caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing vacancies.”

More than 500 health-care workers across the province are in self-isolation due to COVID-19, though it’s unclear how many of them work in long-term care.

Read more: COVID-19: N.S. top doctor says contact tracing in schools provides ‘no added value’

The province is asking any health-care workers who are currently not in the workforce to step in and help.

“There’s pressure on the system, there’s pressure on long-term care,” said Premier Tim Houston during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “If there’s people who can step up and help out, you are welcome.”

Houston said he had “no doubt” that many people will apply.

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In a release, the province said there are temporary, short-term and long-term positions available for continuing care assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

“Our workers have done a tremendous job and sacrificed so much over the past 20 months,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barbara Adams in the release.

“They deserve more than our respect. They deserve relief from overtime and cancelled days off, and our loved ones deserve to be served by people who are not stretched beyond their capacity to provide care.”

Read more: N.S. to spend $57 million to hire long-term care staff, increase beds

The release said Health Association Nova Scotia is partnering with the department to recruit people with the necessary skills and training, who are either retired or not currently working in the sector. They are also searching for part-time workers to switch to full-time hours on a temporary basis.

Anyone interested in applying can find more information on the Health Association Nova Scotia website. “All applicants will receive a follow-up call from the association,” the release said.

It said the short-term positions are being funded through current vacancies in the continuing care sector, and the recruitment efforts are being done through a previously-announced $57 million strategy to improve the sector.

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