The province’s Registered Nurses Union says 24-hour shifts are still not uncommon in the province’s health care system.
RNU President Debbie Forward told Paddy Daly on the VOCM Morning Show, she is aware of 24-hour shifts being working in a number of areas and it all comes down to a shortage of RNs.
She says in the pediatric unit at the Janeway, RNs have been working 24 hour shifts off and on since early summer. The same is true of the case room as well as long-term care. She says the inability to find someone to come in for relief is pervasive.
Registered nurses are required to stay on shift if there’s no one there to take over. She says there are strategies that employers can take to avoid those situations.
They include splitting 12-hour shifts, adding an extra two hours to a shift, and relieving the RN on shift of some of their responsibilities if they have to stay.
Forward says it remains a serious concern for both RNs and patients. She says it’s said to them so many times that a “tired RN is better than no RN”, but 24-hour shifts are not acceptable.