Ongoing staffing shortages in Manitoba hospitals have nurses calling out for help on social media.
On Tuesday morning a tweet was posted by the Manitoba Nurses Union saying 13 Grace Hospital nurses quit at the beginning of summer leaving the ICU “chronically short” on staff.
According to the post, the ICU has since tripled the nurse-patient ratio, making each worker responsible for three patients at a time, as opposed to just one.
Manitoba Nurses Union president Darlene Jackson says posts like these might be the only way to get a message across to the provincial government.
“I think what’s happening is that we’ve had nurses coming to us for a very long time, probably about three years saying, how do we let people know that the health-care system in Manitoba is not doing well, that nurses are not doing well. Frontline health care workers are not doing well.
“They needed some type of an outlet where they could speak anonymously, because to be truthful, there are some employers who don’t take kindly to nurses speaking out and (they) do discipline.”
Jackson says it’s time to put pressure on the government to act.
“If the government’s not going to listen to us, if I can’t go and say to them, like, we’ve got big trouble here, then we need to put pressure somewhere. Because I got to tell you, we cannot continue keeping the health-care system going when we’re basically shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.”
Global has reached out to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority for comment.
In an email, a WRHA spokesperson said: “The staffing challenges right now for nurses across Canadian health care systems is no secret. Healthcare staff continue to work extraordinary hard for their patients, clients and residents through this time, and more than ever they deserve our gratitude and all the support possible.
“Throughout the WRHA we continue to work nonstop to fill staffing gaps with staff callouts, offering overtime and focused recruitment and training initiatives. We have management and executive members who are nurses that have been regularly stepping up to take hundreds shifts across the system, including in our EDs, to support our front-line teams and ensure the safety of the patients we serve.
“While there are no quick, simple or immediate fixes to a nationwide need for more nurses, we continue to work with our staff, teams, management, government and union partners to manage and balance immediate needs while moving forward on longer term recruitment and training solutions.”