Retired healthcare workers asked to join fight against coronavirus

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As doctors expect the numbers of COVID-19 cases to surge in the coming weeks a call is being made for retired healthcare works to return back to the frontlines to help battle the virus.

Facilities are looking for doctors, nurses, therapists, EMTs and paramedics to join this fight. FOX 46 is told a few hundred have signed up to come out of retirement statewide, but they’re going to need more than that, just in Mecklenburg County.

“So when I say we need health care workers to come work with us, it’s pretty serious,” Mecklenburg County manager Dena Diorio said.

With a higher rush of patients dealing with COVID-19 complications expected between now and the end of the month, the call is becoming a plea. 

“There’s a fear of the unknown for something that could be small or could be enormous,” said Cody Hand with the NC Healthcare Association. 

The NCHA is working get help from other states once the cases hit their peak here, all while work continues and fear mounts.

“We hear daily from our doctors and nurses. They’re all worried about coronavirus, they’re worried about catching it themselves,” Hand said. 

Mecklenburg County says, statewide, 450 people have signed up to come out of retirement, but they say they need more than just in the county.

“I know personally of between eight to 10 folks,” Dr. Dennis Taylor with the NC Nurses Association said.

Taylor spent 20 years working at CMC main. 

“I think it’s very altruistic. They got into this industry to help people,” said Taylor. 

Taylor believes that will be coming back likely won’t be on the front lines, but will be part of a larger support staff, should COVID-19 cases get high. There’s a big if on whether they’ll be needed, but they believe it will come.

“For those retirees that come back, come on back, we’re ready for you,” Taylor said.

We’re told the state board of nursing is streamlining the process to get nurses who have retired within the last five years, re-certified with little paperwork. FOX 46 has been told hospital systems in the area are keeping an eye for anyone local willing to come back
 

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