Nova Scotia puts out call to fill long-term care jobs
Temporary, short-term and long-term jobs available for qualified people
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is hoping an appeal to past and present health-care workers to take on openings in long-term care settings will get a similar response to the call for help at COVID-19 booster clinics.
The Nova Scotia government announced Wednesday it's looking to fill positions in long-term care facilities in an effort to address staff shortages. The posts include temporary, short-term and long-term jobs for continuing care assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
"We asked Nova Scotians who were qualified and able to step up with the booster campaign," Houston said in an interview.
"We are pretty blown away by the number of Nova Scotians that stuck their hand up and said, 'We'll help.' So people in long-term care were just saying, 'Look, maybe those same people will help us. Maybe there's other people with a different skill set that can help.'"
A logjam of pending admissions
One difference between the spots at the booster clinics and the jobs being advertised in long-term care settings is the latter are paid positions.
Like other streams of the health-care system, long-term care homes have faced great strain from the Omicon variant of COVID-19. Twenty-five homes in the province are not taking new admissions or have restrictions on admissions due to staff shortages.
Houston said he's hoping this call for workers could reduce the wait times people are facing to get placements in long-term care.
"We'll try every reasonable idea to help improve access and make sure that we get this logjam broken," he said.
Giving current staff a break
In a news release, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barb Adams said some of the money for the posts will come from a $57-million announcement she made late last year to help bolster the system. Part of the intent is to ease the stress on people already working in the system.
"Our workers have done a tremendous job and sacrificed so much over the past 20 months," Adams said 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."
Adams's department is partnering with the Health Association of Nova Scotia to recruit people with the necessary skills who are either retired or not currently working in the system, as well as offering full-time work to people currently working part time.
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With files from Jean Laroche