Saskatchewan. Emergencies facing staffing shortages and higher levels of abuse: nurses’ union

The Saskatchewan Nurses Union (SUN) says urban emergency rooms have collapsed and the health care system is in a variety of different crises.

SUN President Tracey Zamboy says they are seeing an increase in violence at Pasqua Hospital in Regina. She said some nurses are terrified, with more abuse and guns coming through hospital doors.

“(Nurses) fear for their own safety, they fear for the safety of the people in the waiting room. The waiting rooms are packed. The triage office is packed. They are finding more and more people with guns, threatening to harm the nurse who is in the triage office, people in the waiting room,” Zamboy said.

As of Thursday, the emergency rooms at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon were over capacity by 200%. Zambory said the situation was becoming more unstable by the minute.

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« Name calling, verbal abuse, physical abuse, spitting, beatings and limbs having to try to contain people who are having psychotic breakdowns, whether from drug addiction or untreated mental illness, or from families or patients who are just extremely frustrated. because they are waiting hundreds of hours for care,” Zamboy said.

She said people are showing up at the emergency room sicker than ever and having to sit on the floor in pain waiting for treatment in the waiting room. She added that there is a perfect storm of issues such as the systemic problem of not having proper treatment for mental health and addictions, and no strategy to deal with people who feel marginalized in the community.

“It’s the registered nurses who are on the front line every day in our emergency rooms and in our hospitals who pay the price and it’s to the point that they no longer want to do this. They can no longer psychologically or physically handle this kind of abuse that comes their way.

In a statement, the Department of Health says health human resource challenges are occurring in hospitals and emergency departments across Canada as well as globally.

Read more:

Staffing shortages affect Saskatchewan’s health system

The ministry adds that the Saskatchewan government has a four-point plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain more healthcare workers.

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority said in a statement: “Saskatoon hospitals are facing high occupancy levels and our emergency departments are experiencing a high volume of patients. During the week, we have had periods where the RUH adult medical and surgical wards have experienced over 100% occupancy, creating barriers to admitting new patients from the ward. emergency room.

The statement added that the emergency department is also facing staffing shortages and recruitment efforts continue.

To address the issues, they say they are working with doctors to consider regional centers as close to a patient’s home as possible for care if they can meet their needs there.

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“We encourage those with needs of a more minor nature to access care in the community when and to the extent possible to reduce pressures on our emergency departments,” SHA said in its statement.

Zambory said they are seeing a drop in the number of registered nurses and an increase in vacancies.

« Because the workplace has become so overrun and so many bad decisions have been made by the leadership of this province, by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, where the workplaces have started to get harder and harder to practice in safely, and where RNs were not supported, where their opinions and expert knowledge were dismissed and ignored,” she said.

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She said that at Pasqua Hospital’s emergency room, staffing levels would drop 60% by 4 p.m. Friday because they couldn’t fill vacancies. « People might be sick because they’re so exhausted and so damaged by everything that’s going on that they can’t find their way to work. »

“The emergency room is a catastrophic event where lives are lost. This is where we are heading. If we don’t turn it around,” Zambory said.

Click to play the video: “Staff Shortages Plague Saskatchewan's Health System”

Staffing shortages affect Saskatchewan’s health system

Staffing shortages affect Saskatchewan’s health system

She added that she has met with Social Services Minister Paul Merriman and Premier Scott Moe to discuss what short and long term solutions they can come up with to manage this nursing shortage crisis in the province, but has not yet heard. one back if they’re willing to partner up and give RNs a voice at the table.

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« We know what needs to happen for patients in this province, and we know what needs to happen to retain and recruit registered nurses, » she said.

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