Health care workers pushing off retirement to help fight the pandemic

Retired health care workers needed

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Health experts are now asking retired nurses and physicians to come back to the workforce to help fight the pandemic.

Kelli Powers with Decatur Morgan Hospital said this would allow medical professionals on the front lines a chance to have a break.

“If there is any retired nurses or retired physicians that would like to come back and help, we would love to do that,” Powers said. “We would work with you, if you could only work a few hours just to give somebody a break.”

On the other hand, some are putting off their retirement.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said she was supposed to be enjoying time with her family by now, until the pandemic hit.

“I cannot leave my post in a crisis. I have to stay here and do what I can to try to help the state of Alabama, the citizens of Alabama, and my patients,” Dr. Landers said.

Dr. Landers elaborated on the topic that she had plans to retire in April of 2020. Plans that have now surpassed her after she decided she needed to see this pandemic through. Her story is one of many. Some nurses are putting off retirement, while others are coming out of retirement to help on the front lines.

Alabama State Nurses Association Dr. John Ziegler said he’s also seen the other side of the coin, nurses retiring after frustrations.

“We did a broad survey an we learned a lot of from boots on the ground of what was really happening inside the facilities,” Dr. Ziegler said. “Many feel frustrated. They want support and supplies and equipment to do their jobs.”

Due to this frustration, he said he’s seen some nurses leave the profession.

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