Federal legislation protecting health-care workers welcomed, say P.E.I. unions
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created more stress for both health-care workers and patients, and it has shone a light on the violence health-care workers sometimes face. That, in turn, has prompted the introduction of Bill C-3. C-3 would limit protests outside health-care facilities, by making it illegal to intimidate health-care workers or patients seeking care.”
There are definitely people coming into health-care facilities ‘that feel that they have the right to belittle someone,’ – Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses’ Union.
A rewarding but demanding career as a Registered Nurse on PEI
PEINU President, Barbara Brookins wholeheartedly recommends nursing as a career.
“You may hear reports about nurse shortages and issues with time off, but that will settle in time, because if it does not, the system will not be able to continue, and that is not an option.”
BARBARA BROOKINS: P.E.I.’s health-care system is failing patients and nurses
“Registered Nurses are leaving Prince Edward Island’s health-care system at an alarming rate, but the government hasn’t acted, and now our health-care system is struggling.
Why are so many leaving? A toxic workplace, 24-hour shifts and excessive workloads are just some of the reasons.
I speak from experience.” PEINU President, Barbara Brookins
P.E.I. Nurses Union raises concerns about ‘toxic workplaces’ with new video
“The nurses that we do have, have been working hard and they’ve been going above and beyond. And they’re burning out,” PEINU President, Barbara Brookins told The Guardian.
“It’s only when they get kind of pushed and their feet held to the fire with the media that they even acknowledge that these problems are there.”
P.E.I. NURSES UNION: Nurses in P.E.I. call for action on staffing crisis
With over 250 nurses eligible to retire in this year alone, the nursing shortage in P.E.I. is likely to continue to grow over the coming months and years.
About 20 per cent of the registered nursing positions remain vacant in P.E.I., meaning approximately 300 nurses needed to provide quality care are missing from P.E.I.’s health system. With over 250 nurses eligible to retire in this year alone, the nursing shortage in P.E.I. is likely to continue to grow over the coming months and years.
Conflicting numbers for P.E.I. nursing vacancies
PEINU President, Barbara Brookins said the number of [RN/NP] vacancies should be clearly known publicly, given that filling the 1,347 RN positions is important to provide all the necessary services of P.E.I.’s public health system.
“That’s how many have been identified to provide the core service delivery with each of those areas, whether or not it’s dialysis or mental health or medical unit,” Brookins told The Guardian in an interview. “All those numbers are there for a reason.”
Short-staffing at heart of ‘toxic workplace’ at Health P.E.I., says nurses’ union
“They’re coming to work, [and] if there’s no one to come on to relieve them, they’re being pressured to work overtime. They’re being pressured to work double shifts. They’re being called in on their time off.”
The pressure nurses feel is coming not just from managers, Brookins said. Nurses are putting pressure on themselves because they want to support their colleagues, and they also understand if they don’t put in that overtime or do that double shift patient care could suffer.
45% of departing Health P.E.I. staff surveyed say ‘toxic workplace’ main reason for leaving
PEI Nurses Union is disappointed though, not surprised in these numbers. While they do support what we’re hearing from our members, we look forward to seeing Health PEI acknowledge the true number of vacancies and addressing the reasons behind the resignations.
P.E.I. MLA presses health minister to order bureaucracy to move faster to fix nursing shortage
Health P.E.I. CEO Michael Gardam, Health P.E.I. board chair Derek Key and P.E.I. Nurses Union president Barbara Brookins have all raised issues with the delays in health-care hiring due to the silos involved between the department, Health P.E.I. and the commission. Gardam has said he believes Health P.E.I. should be able to hire its own staff.
Spaces closed in QEH emergency department to manage staffing shortage
“Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses’ Union, says while the closures have meant nurses can take leave this summer, some of them have already been called back into work or have gone onto standby to cover shifts in the emergency department when demand is high.
Brookins said her concern is that despite beds being closed, people in need of medical care still come to the emergency department, which puts added pressure on the staff who are working.”
PEINU President, Barbara Brookins speaks on Paramedics in the Prince County Hospital.
“High numbers of vacancies and poorly laid our processed for hiring need to be addressed and an actual plan set in place to ensure staffing levels will support service delivery.
Taking resources from one fragile health care system and putting it into another is not solving the problem.”
Facing ‘crisis of staffing,’ P.E.I. Nurses’ Union suggests private recruiting firms could be better than civil service
PEINU supports Health PEI CEO Michael Gardam’s statement that Health PEI needs more control over hiring of new staff.
We look forward to working with Health PEI to streamline the hiring process.
Health PEI meetings about nurse vacancies in ER ‘not a good faith discussion,’ says union
PEINU President, Barbara Brookins said filling the vacancies with nurses is important for providing the expected standard of care.
It doesn’t appear that Health PEI is taking filling Registered Nurse positions in the emergency department at Prince County Hospital seriously.
Health PEI halts plans to use paramedics to fill nurse staffing gaps in PCH ER
Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses Union, said this was welcome news. She said she became aware of discussions about using paramedics in the emergency department earlier this week, which raised concerns among members.
“We were concerned obviously about service delivery and just wondering if all avenues have been explored before this discussion came forward,” Brookins said.
Islanders among Atlantic health-care workers wanting to help in Ontario
As the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits Ontario hard, nurses in Atlantic Canada are being asked to help, and Nurses’ Unions have been discussing what can be done.
Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses Union, has been talking with leaders of other provincial unions around the region.
“Everyone wants to help. Obviously, that’s that goes without saying; we are nurses,” said Brookins.
Dialogue with Drake and Daboo
Our President, Barbara Brookins, had the opportunity to chat with Drake & Daboo about the effects COVID-19 have taken on nurses in PEI, the Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response Teams announced by the provincial government and the role that nurses have to play in the future of healthcare provision.
Shortage of patient beds putting pressure on nurses, union says
“Sometimes people will spend their entire hospital stay in an emergency department,”
“It increases the level of anxiety knowing your beds are all full or you are basically running a separate unit within an emergency room when you have a lot of patients waiting for in-patient beds so it’s a lot of pressure to put on the staff.” – Barbara Brookins, PEINU President
Premier agrees to consult unions on mobile mental health units, says P.E.I. Nurses’ Union
“Brookins said both are planning to connect again in the coming week and said she hopes to look at the entire mental health system, not just the mobile mental health units.”
Retention a priority for nurses’ union
“There has been a lot of talk about the recruitment-retention component and the government (tends to) focus a lot on recruitment,” Union president Barbara Brookins said.
“We are trying to push them now to focus on retaining the staff that are there.”
A year into the pandemic, nurses exhausted – and angry (PEI)
“Without action, health staffing, which is already in short supply, could become depleted even further, says P.E.I. nurses”