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BC Nurses sound the alarm, working at up to 133% capacity at Kootenay hospital

The British Columbia Nurses Union has sounded the alarm when it found members atEast Kootenay Regional Hospitalwere working 115-133 percent beyond capacity. I'm here.

This staggering figure is based on the nurse-to-patient ratio, which fluctuates based on local staffing shortages, the number of patients, and the nature of their care needs. .

The union will have a meeting on Thursday in Cranbrook with a "skinny" nurse, the news said in her release. Join local government leaders, MLAs and medical professionals to discuss the 'crisis' and brainstorm long-term solutions.

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According to the union, nurse staffing at East Kootenay Regional Hospital has fallen to as low as 50% at times, jeopardizing patient care. and exacerbated by emergency department closures and diversions at Elkford Health Centre.

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``Expert opinion predicted that current and past governments would, at some point, experience this severe nursing shortage.'' We haven't listened to them.We haven't invested in nursing," BCNU union vice president Adriane Gear told Global News.

"Nurses cannot bear this burden any longer. They cannot work overtime beyond what they are already doing. They cannot sustain it."

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In an interview on Tuesday, Dix told Global News that 38,000 new staff members, including 600 new doctors, have entered the health service since he took over as the health department's chief executive. He said he had joined the system and was better able to respond to patient care. He cited a record number of new registered nurses in the state and "an unprecedented increase in primary care appointments, emergency room visits, surgeries, and diagnostic care."

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To reduce pressure on the system, B.C. We are working to solve the fee problem and attract new national and international doctors.

Read more: Stagnant wages and rising costs forced 16 Sechelt doctors to leave B.C.

But according to Gear, the B.C. “Health Workforce Strategy” is not in place. She said it was true that the number of new nurses in the state had increased, but that percentage had not kept up with the decline and population growth. It acknowledged several "lights of hope" from state governments, including $12 million to add seats and streamline the recruitment of internationally trained nurses. , said: There are not enough nursing instructors, evaluators, or course upgrade opportunities to make the most of these initiatives.

"Another important thing is how we keep the nurses in the system, because that's a big conversation that needs to be done," she explained.

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71} While emergency department closures in the area may not have been as severe as in others, Gere said the BCNU was trying to prevent the situation in Creston, Cranbrook and Elkford from "getting even worse." said there is.

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She said she knew there was a nurse in the area who worked more than 15 shifts while she was on vacation. Told. Without jobs, entire emergency departments could close down. In small rural hospitals and health centers, having just one nurse can make the difference between an open department and a diversion, Gere explained.

"You can't just double the workload and get something done. Certainly in ICU, this was a much more common situation," she said Gear. .

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As a result, early retirement among nurses has increased, with nurses leaving full-time jobs for temporary or part-time jobs. - Timework, and early career nurses leave the profession completely after a year or two.

“Nurses feel very disillusioned because there is no real recognition of how bad it is. So I can't speak up or share what's going on," she said.

"We also record their stories anonymously. That's another reason we're here. They can't tell their own story, but the union can."

Currently, there are nearly 4,300 full-time nurse vacancies in British Columbia, and more than 26,000 nurses will be needed by 2031 to meet patient needs. Gear said it is expected to be.

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