Author Topic: FIRST REPORT FROM THE FRONT LINES – Ste Anne Hospital  (Read 1021 times)

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Sylvain Chartrand CD

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« on: April 28, 2016, 03:18:06 PM »

The first week has passed since the official transfer date, and while
it might be too soon to draw absolute conclusions, it is important to
note any significant events, if only to hope and try that they not
become an established trend., and that what some may describe as a
"hiccup", does not morph into a full-scale bronchial infection.

I have kept a mini-version of a daily journal of events worth noting,
and the most apparent problems appear to lie within the staffing
situation. Hardly a day or a shift has gone by this week, without a
staff shortage of one degree or another, particularly among the nurses
and orderlies, who comprise the very foundations, without which this
(or any other) hospital would collapse in ruins.

Based solely upon my own personal experiences and direct observations
(and discussions with a few highly reliable others), I can confidently
state that the frequent absences of such staff cause unusual delays in
delivering meals, providing medications, appearing for clinical
appointments and like matters. This, in turn, causes considerable
consternation and confusion among patients, and fretting and
frustration among employees, many of whom are often kept ignorant of
their forthcoming schedules

Whereas, in the past, there was little or difficulty in obtaining
replacements for missing personnel within a reasonable time lapse,
that no longer seems to be the case, even when some substitutes are
readily available,on call. Whoever are the  peoole in charge of
staffing, it seems that they were far from ready to hit the ground 
running from Day One, albeit they had many months to properly prepare their program.

Consequently, as can be expected, shift happens .

As well, there seems to be virtually no stable pattern, as yet, to the
assignment of staff  by floors and/or shifts. Strange faces are
constantly appearing on the scene, only to be replaced by more strange
faces, day after day, whether they be from other floors, other shifts,
the Pavillon, or virtually virginal new hires. While I, and some
others, might be simply surprised or even slightly annoyed by such
revolving -door doings, there are more fragile patients among us, who
react with uncertainty, anxiety, insecurity, and even fearfulness at
the sudden changes to their habituated comfort zone.

The above reflects the general but
real malaise, at this admittedly
early stage, but if this woucertain such a "shakedown cruise " would
either not have occurred or, if it did, heads would be rolling as we
speak , and replaced by more efficient and clearer ones.  If  you
require specifics  to bear out some of my statements, be careful what
you wish for: there was an instance two days ago when, in spite of my
repeated use of the call bell, I was left waiting  for at least one
hour(!) to have my dirty diaper changed, the reason being lack of
staff; although I am scheduled to be turned from side-to-side every
two hours  (due to healing and prevention of bed sores), both Tuesday
and yesterday I was left unattended, in two different shifts,  for
over four hours at a stretch, the reason being new staff who have not
sufficiently acquainted themselves with the prescribed routines;  I
have twice in the last week had to draw attention to a "new" nurse,
that I was lacking one of my medications, the reason being that she
was unfamiliar with my requirements  and/or had not taken or had the
time to scan my chart; and in yet another instance, my own orderly had
to be called away from me, to help a "newbie" who had no idea of how
to operate a patient's lift apparatus (or, as I call it , the block & tackle).

I could go on with more of these seemingly small but significant
situations, however,  I think these few will do, for the nonce.
Needless to say, the stress upon staff and patients alike is highly
palpable. I am fortunate in that I can still think and hear and speak
clearly, so as to make my wants and any discrepancies known.  But what
of those of  my comrades who are unable to do so...what disconcertion,
discomfort, danger  and even serious  harm could conceivably befall
them, if conditions such as these were permitted to continue ?

True enough, one week does not a lifetime make....but similar weeks
could very well a lifetime break, and it is therefore never too soon
to "cry wolf" , when there really is one which might endanger the
flock, if not first forestalled, or forever forbidden to enter the fold.

Heed the howl, even if others  complacently or unknowingly  deem it
only a whisper.

Wolf.  (no pun intended)


« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 03:20:07 PM by Sylvain Chartrand CD ResF »