Nurse comes out of retirement to become volunteer contact tracer

Public health nurse Ellen Rudowski retired three years ago, but has now decided to go back to work as a volunteer contact tracer

News 12 Staff

May 15, 2020, 3:35 AM

Updated 1,440 days ago

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As recruiters try to fill thousands of coronavirus contact tracer rules, some are already working in these positions.
Public health nurse Ellen Rudowski retired three years ago, but has now decided to go back to work as a volunteer contact tracer with the Burlington County Medical Reserve Corps.
“You’re contacting individuals that are positive for COVID and being their support. We interview them, obtain information about their symptoms,” she says. “And in addition, at a time where we’re socially isolating, you’re somebody that’s caring.”
Rudowski has been volunteering for the last several weeks and says that she feels this is a way for her to contribute in the fight against the virus.
“We’re just trying to help people protect themselves,” she says. “This is something that I could do to help my colleagues.”
Contact tracers also identify and confidentially alert those who are potentially exposed to a person who may have COVID-19, suggesting that they stay home and providing them with educational information.
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
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“You have to be attentive. You have to be sensitive,” Rudowski says. “It’s very important to keep I mind confidentially and not only for the individual that’s ill, but someone that we are contacting with the assumption that they could have been exposed to COVID.”
And even amid all the pain, the pandemic has caused, Rudowski says that she finds the job to be very fulfilling.
“I did it because we’re all in this together and I see fellow New Jerseyans that are suffering,” she says. “Use your heart and hep someone else, and that’s is where the beauty is.”
State officials say that over 20,000 people have applied to the state’s website to be a contact tracer.
 


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