I was deeply moved by Émilie Ricard’s post, a message from a young nurse from Estrie deploring the conditions she has to practice in. I know that this same heartfelt plea could have come from anyone of you. I know that so many of you arrive home exhausted, discouraged and sometimes in despair over your daily work lives.
Perhaps, when alone, you feel powerless about this situation. However, the strong reactions to Émilie’s words and the increasing amount of people stepping forward to say how fed up healthcare professionals are all send the message that when outrage becomes collective, the decision-makers are bound to hear about it.
Our public health authorities, and even the Quebec Premier, couldn’t remain silent when faced with all of the criticism streaming in from all over. This week Mr. Couillard asked us to provide him with solutions, and yet, he’s been sitting on the solutions for a long time. It’s been two years since we negotiated an increase in jobs and action so that we can establish new healthcare professional-to-patient ratios. And yet, nothing has been done so far.
The full-time positions the Health Minister so proudly boasted about are clearly insufficient. All the more so since the managers are incapable of guaranteeing us they will do what it takes to create a work environment that is conducive to providing safe, quality care and to eliminating mandatory overtime.
We need to unite, work together and mobilize in order to bring forth change. I encourage you to tell your story and get involved in your institution’s union actions. And remember to fill out the Safe Staffing Form to report any unacceptable situations you encounter. In conclusion, we also encourage the public to add its voice to the struggle by sharing, in the Black Book of Care Safety, any excessive workloads or staff shortages they have witnessed and that may have affected the care provided in the health network.