OSHAWA, ON, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The Independent Assessment Committee
(IAC) called in by the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) has made 68
recommendations to address the concerns of registered nurses about
staffing in Lakeridge Health Oshawa's ER.
The panel's report makes recommendations around the use of RNs and RPNs
in the ER, human resource planning and nurse staffing and unit culture,
morale and communication.
"The IAC recommends that Lakeridge Health employ a more systematic HR
resource planning method and evaluate it on a regular basis," notes ONA
President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Employing sufficient numbers of
nurses in the ER is vital to safe patient care and the department must
have an adequate number of nurses on site at all times," she says.
ONA members have repeatedly expressed concerns about nurse staffing
levels in the ER and felt that Lakeridge officials were failing to
adequately address their concerns around patient safety resulting from
what they believe were overly heavy workloads. RNs were also concerned
that RPNs - registered practical nurses with less training, education
and a more narrow "scope of practice" than RNs - were being asked to
care for patients who were beyond the RPNs' scope of practice. The IAC
found that RPNs should be limited to working one shift in the Medical
Observation area where the patients are more stable.
"The nursing experts on the panel have also recommended the hospital
consider using an all-RN model in the treatment area, allowing for more
staffing flexibility between the treatment and assessment areas," says
Haslam-Stroud. "They also recommended that if an RN is unable to work a
shift, they should be replaced by an RN only, not an RPN."
Haslam-Stroud says that patients rely on safe, quality care in their
hospital ER. Ensuring that patients receive that level of care should
be the goal of every hospital and every nurse in the unit, and budget
pressures should not be allowed to erode that quality of care. The
president strongly urges Lakeridge Health management to implement the
recommendations of this expert panel.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line RNs, RPNs and allied
health professionals and more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates
providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public
health, the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
Ontario Nurses' Association
Sheree Bond (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Featherstone (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267; email@example.com
Visit us at: www.ona.org; www.Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; www.Twitter.com/OntarioNurses