Posted Friday, January 2, 2004 by corinne
A preliminary study has just been completed by the Committee of Injured Nurses of Prince Edward Island. The study consisted of a cross section of nurses from various areas of work; such as emergency, recovery room, day surgery, intensive care, medical and surgical floors, nursery, palliative care, nursing homes, clinics and professors from the School of Nursing at the University of Prince Edward Island. The study included nurses from all three counties and approximately a hundred and sixty seven pages were returned. The recently collected data was analyzed under the direction of scientific researcher Dr. David Cairns.
The initial response from nurses was the first point of interest even prior to the results of the study as there seemed such a strong interest and need for further work on the subject of the workplace environment with the hopes of identifying risks and chances for policy to correct them and then guiding policy in providing a strong voice for nurses, guided by nurses. No numbers can properly capture the energy and desire to help the healthcare community that was encountered. The numbers and findings however are most interesting. Findings consist as follows and show clearly that the healthcare crisis which is expected to reach more then a hundred thousand job vacancies nation wide in the near future is being felt strongly today in our healthcare centers:
The majority of those involved (84%) felt that their workplace put them in an unexpected situation in being exposed to greater risk of emotional or physical damage, an over abundance of stress or chance of injury. When nurses which worked directly with the public were asked to rate the physical demands that are placed upon them do to their roles on a scale of one to ten the result was an average of 7.8 but more importantly a mode of 10. This means that the average was lowered due to the responses of a few individuals as more then a quarter reported in the highest extreme (10) and the 10-8 range consisted of 75 % of those who responded. The measure of mental strain however was that much more pronounced as there was an average of 9 out of ten and approximately half of those responding doing so at the mode of 10/10, a workload slightly lower it seemed in the supervisory staff. Approx 90% of those who were involved stressed the need for more staff and care for those which were in the labor force now to prevent premature retirement or a suffering in the quality of care provided. Concerns were for the most part focused on the staffing needs but in more then just the number of nurses as orderlies and ward clerks were also of key importance so allowing the trained and experienced nursing staff to apply their skills to where they can do the most good and their labors not be wasted.
Thankfully though there was a reasonable number who felt that they had appropriate time off between working shifts to mentally and physically recover at 51% in the hands on staff and a related 50% in the supervisory staff. It does speak of needed improvement to assist in the maintaining a balance between family and work life given the stresses of the workplace but somewhat lower then expected given other extreme values such as in the case of what was available in support systems as 90% of nurses involved didn’t feel that there were appropriate support systems for them to make use of. So while the staff that we have seem able to work the hours they do there is a clear demand as was made clear by P.E.I.’s healthcare community directly for new or recovered staff to be added to their numbers so that the quality of our healthcare system and the safety of those men and woman who strive day and night to maintain it are not jeopardized. A suggested ratio was often offered forward with an average of a staff patient ratio of 1/3.5-4.
We haven’t been able to maintain anything which could be considered a reasonable level of support for either staff or the patience. It is clear in the number of nurses who were concerned with a shortage of staff to see to the treatments, education and support needs that the quality of care suffers as 91% of hands on staff and 75% of supervisors felt that beyond their own well-being, that the care provided suffers.
Statements from nurses:
"It is often expressed by the administration that they understand how overworked nurses are. What baffles me is why nurses are continuously given more and more work….. I entered nursing to be a nurse and after I go home feeling that I didn’t have enough time to give the type of care my patients deserve."
"Most assessment tools for nurse/patient ratio do not account for more than task – orientated approach (mental, emotional, spiritual needs not met) .Stressful to always be left feeling that client needs are not met."
"Physical care can be heavy and with only one RN and one LPN to staff the unit, staff is often exhausted mentally and physically at the end of the shift with many feeling inadequate in the quality of care that they were able to give that day."
"Not having 12-16 emergency room admissions per day-these people need better beds and a place to stay out of the view of the public."
"High risk factors ,physical injury,needlesticks, infectionseg VRE, MSRA, Hep C,B,HIV."
"require better service and respect from Workers Compensation Board."
Nurses launch first study into injuries on the job
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2003 by corinne
Nurses launch first study into injuries the job
Committee for Injured Nurses wants to uncover risks and help eliminate them.
BY RON RYDER
Nurses are getting injured and getting ill on the job, a newly formed committee says, and it’s launching a study to find out how to stop the harm before it starts.
Wendy McQuaid, president of the Committee for Injured Nurses, and Corinne Hardy-Adams, the group’s secretary treasurer, told The Guardian this week that nobody has ever done an authoritative study on how and why nurses are being hurt in the workplace.
The pair, both with many years of work as registered nurses, said they’d like to find out where the health risks are for nurses, work to eliminate those risks and reach out to help nurses who are dealing with the consequences of a serious illness or injury.
"We’re finding out that there is a lot of talk about dangers in the nursing professions but not a lot has been proven," she said.
McQuaid, who is now pursuing a masters degree in education, said the committee’s study will look at accident and injury reports from P.E.I.’s public and private health care centres.
Hardy-Adams said a clearer picture could lead to a safer work environment. "What we are expecting to find is that in some facilities there may be a place where people know that someone is always getting injured," she said.
"By looking at the numbers we can see if that’s really the case and then we can look at these high-injury areas and try to find out why.
"What time of day so these accidents happen? Is it at shift change? Would things be different if there were more porters to help lift heavy patients or if facilities were set up differently?"
McQuaid said getting answers to why nurses are being injured is an important first step toward changing the situation and reducing injuries.
"Everyone knows a nurse. There are about 1,500 nurses on P.E.I.," she said. "What people don’t realize is that on top of the hours and emotional toll of nursing there is this increased risk of injury and illness."
Hardy-Adams said they hope their research will help particular situations on the island but more so that it will yield information to improve the health of nurses working across the country.
"We’re going to be able to look at virtually every injury in a nursing environment because of the size of P.E.I. and then we’ll get information that can benefit people right across Canada," she said.
Originally printed June 27, 2003. Copied with permission from the Guardian.
Study focuses on Injuries
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2003 by corinne
A very proactive committee focussing on wellness promotion, injury and illness prevention for nurses has been established on Prince Edward Island. The Committee for Injured Nurses executive council President, Ms. Wendy McQuaid and Secretary Treasurer Mrs. Corinne Hardy-Adams, review the Committee’s mandate. Ms. McQuaid reports, "Mr. Robert Calman president of the Canadian Nurses Association states in his report to the Globe and Mail on May 12, 2003 that, "We have often said the sustainability of our health care system rests upon a vibrant nursing workforce."
Through the means of research, nurses in services such as clinical practice, education, administration and research shall apply their knowledge in identifying high risk areas." Ms. McQuaid states, "The committee shall report to but not be governed by the Association of Nurses of Prince Edward Island."
Mrs. Hardy-Adams states, "Not only have we received enthusiastic response and outstanding commitment from nurses and communities across the island; but also from nursing colleagues in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia." "Our goal is not only to provide a safe work environment for nurses but to provide support for nurses that have been injured."
Ms. McQuaid, a recipient of a national award from the Canadian Nurses Foundation, acknowledges that the committee will be submitting their mandate to the Canadian Nurses Association for peer review.
Welcome to the CIN-PEI news system
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2003 by derekm
The CIN-PEI News System will provide up to date information of interest to injured nurses of Prince Edward Island. Be sure to subscribe to the email news notification by typing your email address into the subscription field. Whenever we add a new item, you will receive an emailed copy.