As two public health emergencies continue to play out in BC's health-care system, nurses are using their voices this National Nursing Week to highlight long-standing problems that are impacting their mental health and patient care.
"BC nurses don't feel like celebrating this week," says BCNU President Aman Grewal. "Instead, hundreds have travelled to Victoria from communities across the province with a somber message that the health-care system is buckling under the pressure. Enough is enough. We need action now."
On Monday evening, BCNU is hosting a "Vigil to Heal Heath Care" to give nurses, first responders and family members a unique opportunity to share in their grief and reflect on the overwhelming impact the last few years have had on communities and the health-care system.
Grewal says 82 percent of BCNU members surveyed last year said their mental health has worsened over the pandemic.
"The act of holding a dying patient's' hand while they lay intubated and alone or balancing an iPad so family members can say their final good-byes is something that stays with you," says Grewal. "It's had a profound impact on our members, and they are not allowed to share this reality openly."
To highlight the mental and physical toll the staffing crisis is having on nurses, BCNU is sharing five nurses' stories anonymously. Hear their stories firsthand by visiting HelpBCNurses.ca
On Tuesday afternoon nurses will be taking their message to the provincial government with a rally on the steps of the BC Legislature. Staffing concerns, working conditions and patient care will be top of mind for those at the event.
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