Health PEI looking to fill range of positions to prepare for 2nd wave of COVID-19
'We are looking at what the various scenarios are we might be facing'
Health PEI is hiring additional staff for multiple health-care service roles in preparation of a second wave of COVID-19.
The agency has already hired 20 people, including licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and residential care workers.
Staff are needed for a variety of positions including, nurses, cooks, maintenance tradespeople, occupational therapists and administrators.
Retired health-care workers and volunteers are also being brought on to help fill positions. The positions are casual or temporary.
"We are looking at what the various scenarios are we might be facing and we want to be prepared," said Marion Dowling, Health PEI's chief of nursing.
Officials from the Chief Public Health Office, Health PEI and the province have been holding regular meetings with committees that report to the Health System Joint Response Team.
Modelling projections, operational plans and monitoring supplies of PPE are some of the topics that have been discussed and worked on over the last few months.
As the province added COVID-19-related services, like three testing clinics set up in Borden, Charlottetown and Summerside, Dowling said staff had to be redeployed from other service areas and now people are needed to fill those voids.
"With the COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to expand some services, add new things like our screening clinics, looking at alternative care sites for COVID-positive patients … so we really are just trying to plan ahead and be prepared," Dowling said.
We want to make sure they're comfortable with it before they're having to start work in sometimes a stressful situation.— Marion Dowling, Health PEI
The province also set up the Rosedale Care Centre at the former Riverview Manor in Montague to house and care for long-term care residents that test positive for COVID-19.
"We had individuals who needed care in a setting that was not their home," said Dowling.
Dowling said she wants to hire staff as soon as possible to provide them with proper training on how to manage working in a COVID-19 environment, such as wearing a mask.
"We want to make sure they're comfortable with it before they're having to start work in sometimes a stressful situation," said Dowling.
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With files by Stephanie vanKampen