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'Health Care and Social Assistance': Second highest industry in Oklahoma for unemployment claims

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 13:52:49-04

TULSA, Okla. — There are no boundaries in unemployment.

Even the most qualified professionals struggle to find jobs, including frontline nurses.

Cindy Minor worked at the emergency room in Brooklyn’s New York University Langone Hospital, a level one trauma facility. Minor said she left Tulsa mid-April because “we really weren’t seeing that many patients with COVID.”

Minor felt needed in New York. In order to get there, she quit a job she'd had the last 14 years inside Hillcrest's emergency room.

“Hospital-wide, they were cutting back positions. They couldn’t offer me to take leave,” Minor said.

Minor took her chances and spent four weeks in New York. Since her return, she's been looking for a job. Her peers are looking too.

Oklahoma's unemployment stats show ‘Health Care and Social Assistance’ is the second hardest hit industry, with over 36,000 claimants in April.

“A lot of hospitals aren’t doing extra surgeries now. So, people aren’t coming in or people are avoiding the ER, too,” Minor said.

The CEO of the Oklahoma Nurses Association said registered nurses have always been in demand until COVID-19.

The communications manager of the Oklahoma State Medical Association said the health care sector had a financially-trying time over the past few months due to the pandemic.

With 43 years of nursing experience, Minor is still looking while hoping the healthcare system picks back up soon.

Minor said, “I’m not ready to retire. I probably could, I still feel like I have something left to offer.”

Minor has been in Oklahoma for three weeks now. She said she has job leads out of California.

Locally, Ascension Healthcare has 99 nursing positions open.

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