Manitoba seeking nurses, health-care aides, contact tracers in fight against COVID-19

By | October 19, 2020

Manitoba is appealing to the public for help filling a number of nursing and health care aide jobs to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

People from all health-care disciplines are asked to apply, including current and former nurses, and people with comparable training, said Shared Health’s Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa in a news release on Monday.

“These are unprecedented times and we are appealing to everyone who has chosen a career in caring to consider how they can help,” she said.

“Right now, some of Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens need our help. Whether you are a student just starting your career, are already working in our health system or are looking to step back into patient care after some time away, we have a role for you.”

Jobs are available for people with varied levels of training and experience, including health care students, new graduates as well as current and former health care workers, Siragusa said.

Although there is a need for nurses and health care aides in personal care homes, there are also positions in areas like contact tracing, call centres and testing sites.

Staff are provided with personal protective equipment, training and support. Every precaution is taken to ensure their safety, according to the release.

People with health-care education, as well as those with comparable training including dietitians, spiritual health providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and others are invited to apply.

“Across the province, compassionate and caring individuals have stepped up to ensure we are able to continue offering the services and support needed by those most vulnerable in our community, but we need additional help in a variety of direct care and behind-the-scenes areas,” Siragusa said.

This comes after Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Wab Kinew shared health-care vacancy numbers in western Manitoba during question period Thursday.

The NDP obtained information from Prairie Mountain Health last week showing that 22 per cent of licensed practical nurse positions were open as of August, as well 19 per cent of registered nursing positions and 16 per cent of nurse practitioners jobs.

In addition, 15 per cent of home-care aide and health-care aide positions were sitting vacant.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) says nurses are working well below baseline staffing, at times hovering around half their normal complement.

MNU says nurses are being mandated to work overtime at Parkview Place, a private care home run by Revera which is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. 

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