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California recruiting retired doctors, med students for expected COVID-19 surge

Hospital ships being sent to New York, West Coast to help in fight against coronavirus
Posted at 1:50 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 16:50:25-04

LOS ANGELES (KGTV) — To prepare for the anticipated surge in coronavirus patients, California is reaching out to retired doctors and medical and nursing students to help.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he has signed an order that waives certain professional licensing and certification requirements to allow health care facilities to increase staff.

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Those interested can apply to the California Health Corps online here. California is looking for positions including:

  • Physicians (MD, DO), including medical students
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses (RN, LVN, CNA), including nursing students
  • Behavioral health professionals (psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, LCSW, LMFT, LPCC)
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Medical assistants
  • Emergency medical technicians

The state says those who participate will be paid and be given malpractice insurance coverage. Location preferences will be considered but can't be guaranteed to applicants.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or over
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have a valid driver’s license or passport, and a social security card
  • Have a valid California License for clinical practice (if you are a MD, DO, etc.)
  • OR are a medical student or nursing student
  • Have no negative licensure/certification actions (for licensed/certified professionals)

The state is aiming to staff about 50,000 hospital beds.

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Newsom says in the last four days, California coronavirus hospitalizations have doubled and the number of patients in intensive care units has tripled.

As of Monday afternoon, California reported more than 6,300 cases and 132 deaths due to COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.