Operating room nurses at the Lakeshore Hospital organized a sit-in noting they had been made to work tough hours, and are now being asked to shift to the ICU in what they call skeleton staffing.
A protesting nurse detailed how she was made to work a shift of 48 hours under the hospital’s current staffing schedule.
For nurses in the OR, their workload started to increase in the summer of 2020, when the pandemic eased off, which is when doctors started working on their ever-growing surgery backlogs.
The situation hasn’t eased to date, and the hospital’s operating rooms have been a space of burnout, leading others to quiet.
Now, the hospital wants the remaining nurses working in the OR, about 18, to shift to the intensive care unit as they province prepares for the nest wave.
The protest was their last resort, the nurses noted, and the only way to inform the hospital that they had had enough.
Nurses who spoke to local media said that surgical procedures proceed at full pace in the remaining ORs, giving them very little time for bathroom breaks.
The hospital’s spokesperson, Helena Bergeron-Gamache, said they are aware that things have been hard on the nursing staff. She added that they are working with the union to find solutions.