Barnstable County Closer to Adding Two Nursing Positions Amid Pandemic

HYANNIS – Barnstable County officials are getting closer to approving an expansion of the county’s nursing workforce.

The county’s Board of Regional Commissioners recently approved just over $140,000 to be allocated for two additional positions within the Public Health Nursing Program for the Health and Environment Department in fiscal year 2021.

Director Sean O’Brien explained that the positions are meant to ease the burden on the county and its nurses during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are getting ready for flu season too, so these positions will be very active,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien added that the nurses would be aiding at health and long-term care facilities across the Cape with their virus mitigation efforts, while also assisting towns and schools with their testing, tracing, and educational plans.

The nurses would be under the supervision of Public Health Nurse for the county Deirdre Arvidson. She said that the creation of these jobs will allow Cape residents to properly receive the care that they deserve.

“This whole pandemic has definitely raised the profile of public health nurses overall,” Arvidson said, “and it’s also shown the lack of investment in public health nursing over time, especially by the state.”

The ordinance calling for the positions to be added will now go before the county’s Assembly of Delegates on Wednesday to be approved.

O’Brien said that the two nurses, who would be on the job for 18 months, should be ready to serve by the start of October.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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