Texas hospital calls for retired nurses, respiratory therapists


"We're short-staffed. There's no secret about that."

ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) — A Texas hospital is calling all nurses, even retired ones, to help its full-time staff in combating the coronavirus.

Staff anticipates a potential spike in cases following the Fourth of July.

“We’re short-staffed. There’s no secret about that,” said Christin Timmons, chief nursing officer at Medical Center Hospital. “Because of the current situation and growing numbers of COVID, we really are looking for individuals who are still licensed and willing to come back to work and come join our teams.”

The hospital is looking for licensed acute and critical care retired nurses, school nurses and respiratory therapists to bring some relief to the current full-time staff, Timmons said.

“The more that you take of the overtime you work, you get tired,” Timmons said. “So we want to make sure that those reinforcements are there because we have our staff and our community to protect.”

Contracts will last between 10 to 12 weeks. And while benefits will not be offered, the hospital says the pay rate will be competitive. Those hired will work under the guidance and supervision of experienced healthcare professionals.

“So oftentimes, a task nurse is there to be an extra set of hands for me. We are going to offer some training, and that’s why the buddy system is so important,” Timmons said. “We want them to come on board and be able to learn as they go. But I really do expect people to come on temporary assignment, knowing that it will be a quicker pace than what we offer to, say, a new person coming on board.”

The hospital has already reached out to furloughed and retired staff members to return. Timmons said she will take as many people as she can. Her department alone is down by 68 people.

You can sign up by heading to the hospital’s website and clicking on the link to their Human Resources page.

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