'Sense of duty:' Dozens of retired Alberta nurses and physicians register to return to work to fight pandemic
Alberta doctors and nurses have stepped back onto the job to help out in the fight against COVID-19.
CALGARY -- As Alberta’s health care system prepares for the number of COVID-19 cases to likely peak in mid-May, dozens of retired doctors and nurses are signing up to get back into the workforce to fight the pandemic.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) says 46 retired physicians have registered to step back onto the front lines and about 400 retired nurses, licenced practioner nurses and respiratory therapists have reached out to offer help.
"We did hear from quite a number of physicians and they really do have quite a sense of duty in wanting to come back and help, not just Albertans, but wanting to help their former colleagues," says Jessica McPhee with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA).
McPhee says CPSA put out a request weeks ago to physicians who have retired in the last two years.
According to the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA), employers have requested retired nurses to fill 36 positions so far. Thirty-five of those positions have been filled by members who have been "reactivated" and the remaining position is being processed.
"AHS is extremely grateful, and is in the process of evaluating those who have offered their services," a spokesperson said in a statement.
According to the provincial government’s most probable scenario, around 800 people will require hospitalization when Alberta’s cases peak in mid-May. Somewhere between 220 to 244 of those hospitalization will need intensive care in late-May to early-June, projections show.
"Physicians go into that field because they want to help people and want to help patients," McPhee said.