Blood collection changes add more work to overburdened nurses

NDP Health Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Health & Community Services critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) is mystified as to why government permitted Eastern Health to make an abrupt addition today to the duties of Registered Nurses at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s. Michael says assigning blood collection work to the highly-trained RNs, who already overworked, seems counterproductive.

“The changes to blood collection today came out of the blue. Over-burdened nurses have already been told to take on non-nursing duties. Demanding they add collecting blood at St. Clare’s Hospital when they are already over worked is outrageous,” she said in the House of Assembly.

“I ask the premier, why is government allowing Eastern Health to put yet another burden on top of already overworked nurses at St. Clare’s?”

Michael says the consistent message she receives from nurses is that they have enormous difficulty delivering the care they are trained to provide as it is. She regularly hears from nurses who work double shifts, are refused vacation, and cannot take breaks because of workload and staff shortages.

“Nurses across the province have said over and over that they are having trouble keeping up with nursing care as it is. This decision by Eastern Health puts another wrench into the smooth running of the hospital with absolutely no indication that there will better outcomes or a cost savings,” Michael said in the House.

“I ask the Premier where is the evidence that such action is a good idea?”

Michael says the difference in pay scales alone is enough to say Eastern Health’s action does not make financial sense.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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