Since the start of the pandemic, many retired healthcare workers have returned to the frontlines to help the fight against COVID-19.
Lynn Knight, a Truro, N.S. LPN who called it a career nine years ago, is one of them.
She went back to work in March 2020 when the province started testing for the coronavirus and has been administering tests, along with Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations, ever since.
“We kind of thought that it was going to be, you know, a three or six-month employment,” she says. “Then, it ended up, now it’s 22 months.”
“I just wanted to do it,” she tells Global News. “I wanted to be there and be able to help. I just felt like I owed it to the people of Nova Scotia as a healthcare provider.”
While she’s been focused on PCR tests, Monday morning, she’ll begin administering booster doses to people in the northern health zone.
Knight, 65, works five-to-six days each week in her ‘retirement’ and on several occasions she has travelled to Amherst to work at the primary assessment centre there.
It’s an effort that’s especially appreciated with the staffing pressures as a result of the Omicron wave. But she’s not alone; healthcare workers across the country have returned to work during the pandemic.
“The fact that registered nurses have stepped up and decided to come back to help with the rollout of vaccination clinics, I think, just speaks to the commitment and devotion they have to the profession and trying to keep their communities as safe as possible,” says Paula Doucet, the president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union.
At times, things have gotten tense while Knight was working at vaccination clinics.
They’ve had people opposed to vaccinations “holler out the window at us and tell us that we were going to be basically injuring people by giving them the vaccine.”
“We actually had anti-vaxxers come to our parking lot here at the Rath [Eastlink Community] Centre and call things, call us names, and that kind of thing,” she says. “That was very disheartening as a healthcare provider, trying to help people.”
She says while many people are growing more frustrated with the pandemic, the majority of the population appreciates the work they’re doing.
Knight admits some days have been difficult, but she knows there’s a job at hand.
“We just try to explain to people that we’re here to help, whether it’s doing the testing or vaccination, we’re just trying to help people get through the whole COVID-19 experience.”
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