- A poll of thousands of New Brunswick nurses, according to union leaders, revealed that they had little trust in the province’s ability to improve their working circumstances.
- According to Paula Doucet, president of the organization that represents over 9,000 nurses, nurses are suddenly standing up for themselves.
- The survey was conducted before the government signed a new collective bargaining agreement with nurses in December, according to Shephard.
According to union leaders, a poll of thousands of New Brunswick nurses indicated that they had little faith in the province’s capacity to improve their working conditions.
They claim that a punitive “culture of acceptance” is to blame for how bad things have gotten.
“Would things have gotten this terrible if this wasn’t a primarily female occupation?” Cathy Rogers, the New Brunswick Nurses Union’s research and education officer, requested a press conference to announce the findings of a nurse survey.
“Would it have taken this long to prioritize the support and need for new nurses, as well as to look after the nurses we presently have?”
‘Finding their voice’ for nurses.
According to Rogers, a former Liberal MLA, more than 4,185 registered nurses and nurse practitioners replied to the poll, saying that their working conditions are unsafe and that nothing is improving.
On the other hand, nurses are suddenly standing up for themselves, according to Paula Doucet, head of the union that represents over 9,000 nurses.
“I think nursing has, more or less, basically followed the norms over the years as a largely female profession,” she added. “Nurses, on the other hand, are finding their voice to state enough is enough.”
According to the Nurses Association of New Brunswick, women made up 94% of nurses four years ago.
Long hours, chronic understaffing, and dangerous circumstances were highlighted by nurses as important issues in difficulty hiring and maintaining nurses in the poll.
The data for the survey was obtained in June 2021. The union did not represent licensed practical nurses until October 8, 2021.
The poll results confirm painful facts regarding the province’s healthcare quality at first look. For example, 91.73 % of nurses indicated that the overall health care quality has deteriorated in the last three years.
Nurses shared their experiences with the problems that come with the work in testimonies.
The following is one nurse’s response to the survey: “It’s not even a humane work to feel chest heaviness while rushing through the corridors with pee flowing down my leg… Because we are continually short-staffed, we are obliged to operate in this manner.”
Nurses worked almost 292,000 hours of overtime in only six months, with stints of at least 16 hours not unusual.
A patient care, according to Doucet, suffers, particularly in terms of aftercare, such as having time to talk to patients about their health issues.
“I’ll take the example of a diabetic who has just been diagnosed… sitting down with them and truly informing them about their illness, “Doucet stated.
“Because they [nurses] do not have the time to do so, newly diagnosed diabetics are discharged from the hospital with just half of the information they should have gotten. And then, a few weeks later, they’re in a diabetic emergency in their doctor’s office or the emergency room.”
Concerns about money
On Tuesday, the Higgs government unveiled a projected $487.8 million surplus for 2021-22.
Given the status of nursing, which has over 1,000 openings, Doucet was astonished to hear this news.
“What I can say is that New Brunswick has to step up and… honor the job that healthcare personnel has done during this epidemic,” she said, noting that other jurisdictions have done so with monetary incentives or additional days off.
Because COVID-19 has delayed the introduction of new initiatives like doctor and nurse recruiting activities, the province has spent $25 million less on health care this year.
At a press conference in Saint John, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard attempted to address some of the nurses’ concerns, implying that reform is already occurring.
According to Shephard, the study was done before the government inked a new collective bargaining deal with nurses in December. According to her, the deal addresses better working conditions.
“We realize things aren’t going to change overnight,” Shephard said, “but we took working conditions extremely seriously and made sure they were on the table during our talks and conversations.”
Source: Global News
Get Canada and New Brunswick News’s top News, Market news, and other worldwide news only on New Brunswick Tribune.