About 40,000 medical professionals, including students and retirees, have volunteered to join New York’s surge healthcare force to confront an anticipated spike in statewide coronavirus cases in the coming weeks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said everyone from nurses to anesthesiologists to Intensive Care Unit physicians have signed up so far. More than 2,000 physicians and more than 16,000 registered nurses are among them.
“That’s a big, big deal,” he said in a briefing Wednesday. “Because you can create beds, you can find the equipment, but you have to have the staff.”
Additionally, 6,175 mental health professionals have signed up as volunteers to man a mental health hotline, which New York residents can call for free.
The extra reserve workforce will fill in if existing medical professionals get sick, are forced to quarantine or simply can’t cover the hours needed on the hospital floors, said Cuomo.
It’s unclear whether those who volunteer to help will be paid.
To volunteer to be part of the surge healthcare force, visit the New York Department of Health’s coronavirus information page at www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov.
You will be asked to complete a survey and list your work history, credentials and certifications, or information about students or staff members who want to contribute.
If you’re a New York state-certified healthcare worker living in the New York City area, you can also sign up to support the families of other healthcare workers on the front lines.
To register, go to the Help Now NYC page at www1.nyc.gov.
To reach a mental health professional, call the hotline at 1-844-863-9314.