The trust’s Assistant Director of Nursing Brendan McGrath said a number of homes are currently experiencing a “staffing crisis”.
He said the need for volunteers is “urgent and critical”.
The British Medical Association (BMA) in NI is warning of staffing pressures right across the health service.
“Our problem, at the moment, is that we have more than 4,000 staff off either ill themselves or on isolation. This means that there aren’t enough staff across the system,” BMA NI chair Dr Tom Black told BBC Radio Foyle.
There are currently 105 confirmed Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes across NI, according to the Department of Health.
An outbreak in a care home is where there are two or more confirmed cases among residents or staff within a 14-day period.
Dr Black added that an outbreak “requires more staffing because if you have an isolated resident in a care home you obviously need full PPE, isolation and all the rest that goes with it”.
“That requires a higher level of staffing and more careful work”.
In its appeal to staff on social media, the Western Trust asked for nurses, social workers and other health care professionals to consider volunteering.
Mr McGrath said: “We need shifts covered in three particular care homes this weekend, and into the early part of next week and all help will be gratefully received.
He added: “We are particularly appealing to care assistants, registered nurses, allied health professionals, social workers and support services staff, but every hour that anybody can offer will be valued”.
Staff, he said, would receive training in a number of areas including infection control and in the moving and handling of care home residents.
“I appreciate this could be a new experience for some people and we would like to support you in helping us to meet this urgent and critical need,” he said.Dr Black said health services are currently facing “a triple whammy”.
“What we have at the moment is the peak of a pandemic, we are in the second wave and it is much worse than the first.
“In addition to that we have winter pressures, we have staff illness, so this triple whammy is putting huge pressure right across the system and you need the system to work as a flow”.
Staff, he said, are tired and fatigued but have been consistently “stepping up” and undertaking “phenomenal work”.
But, he said, he does not believe issues around staffing will be addressed post pandemic.
“The NHS has been run so tightly that when things got worse we didn’t have the capacity to increase our work throughput,” he said.
“That’s where we are now.
“I do not hold out any great hope for the future, I am not sure the politicians will learn, they’ll think that ‘was a once in a lifetime, let’s move on'”.