Former Nursing Student
As a former nursing student who has completed various clinical practicums around HRM, I have seen first-hand how over-worked RNs are.
They work extremely hard, throw-out their backs, and genuinely worry about being able to safely and effectively care for their patients – which is getting harder and harder to do when the patient loads increase. RNs have to mentally keep track of all of their patients’ needs, concerns, progress, meds, etc. Often medications are prescribed to be taken at certain times – which often results in more than five patients requiring medication to be administered at the same time, which is physically impossible, not to mention the triple-checks that are required to ensure that the right patient is getting the right medication. I know many of these nurses and they truly just want to be able to safely care for their patients without putting their licenses at risk.
RNs are vital to the healthcare system, the front-line, and they deserve adequate working conditions by way of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios. The only other options will surely result in substandard care, burned-out nurses, nurses who leave the province, reduced enrollment for future nursing school students, and possible patient deaths.