A number of State lawmakers are recommending that New York spearhead an emergency training effort – ideally targeting newly unemployed residents – to quickly bring more nurses aides and other positions to help our health care system that has long been suffering a shortage of frontline workers long even before COVID 119 appeared.

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The hope is that those losing their jobs could be quickly taught basic skills to help aid new health care facilities to treat an expected surge of patients.

“We have to do everything in our power to get an increased health care workforce that is trained and able to care for those that are suffering," said State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat who started the training push. The push for an emergency effort was backed Thursday by 28 of his Senate Democratic colleagues from across the state.

The state now requires more than 100 hours of classroom and clinical training to become a certified nurses aide. It can take more than a month to complete the required courses.

Senator Kennedy said the state could quicken the process to get more nurses aides into hospitals within a couple weeks.

In a letter to Governor Mario Cuomo Kennedy and his 28 colleagues –said the state could turn to the rising number of unemployed people to boost a struggling health care system.

“While we know that the need for all types of medical professionals will significantly increase in the coming days and weeks, many of these professions require months, if not years, of training," the senators wrote.

 

Ramping up the training for those slots can ensure “that, at the very least, New Yorkers who are afflicted with COVID-19 are provided the basic are and comfort they need while they recover," the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers urged Cuomo to also try to tap the unemployed workforce to train in health care positions or in construction jobs that could build hospital capacity.

“We agree with your assessment that this is a way against COVID-19 and believe that New York State’s most valuable asset, our workforce, should play a major role," the lawmakers wrote.

 

(Buffalo News)