Building safer workplaces requires leaders who understand how years of resource constraints, unhealthy work environments, abuse from patients and a pandemic have contributed to overwhelming burnout and job dissatisfaction among workers.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The future of our health system depends on recruiting and retaining passionate and highly skilled health-care workers. It’s essential to build work environments where they feel supported and safe.
Patient safety incidents are the third leading cause of death in Canada.
Patient safety incidents were already a leading cause of death in Canada. With that crisis converging with the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care is being pushed to a breaking point.
Common approaches used to encourage internationally educated health-care professionals to work in smaller communities often focus primarily on attraction, but do not address the reasons why they tend to leave.
Small communities struggle to retain needed internationally educated health-care professionals. Challenges will persist until the compounding effects of social and professional isolation are addressed.
Health-care workers protest over stalled contract negotiations with the provincial government in Montréal in October 2020.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
To prevent a shortage of health workers, public expressions of appreciation need to be backed by policies that provide dignity, decent working conditions, accountability and appropriate remuneration.
Police officers speak to a health-care professional outside the emergency department at Toronto General Hospital during a protest against COVID-19 measures in September 2021.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Although demanding, disruptive and violent patients are a major contributor to physician burnout, solutions to address this increasing problem are not a priority.
In addition to patient care, many doctors also have heavy administrative burdens, including insurance company requests and government forms that advocate for their patients’ needs, as well as all the challenges of running an office.
Less than half of Canadians can see their doctor same-day, and millions don’t even have a family doctor. Improving access to care means providing doctors with the support they need to focus on patients.
Sleep-deprived paramedics are less able to understand how their patients feel.
New research shows overworked, sleep-deprived health-care professionals are less empathetic to their patient’s needs compared to when they are well-rested.
Intensive care nurse Kathryn Ivey’s Tweet illustrates the impact of the pandemic on health-care workers. Used with permission.
Rates of burnout have increased alarmingly among health-care workers during the pandemic. Unless the system provides more support to its already depleted workforce, staff shortages may get worse.
If new incentives don’t work, mandatory policies may be the only way forward in ensuring high COVID vaccine coverage of staff.
Health-care professions like nursing are at risk of experiencing a post-pandemic exodus of workers due to burnout and moral distress.
To live well through and beyond the pandemic, we need to recognize the moral distress experienced by people, and especially health-care workers.
Will new guidelines on how to protect front-line workers acknowledge the coronavirus can spread via the air we breathe? It’s time they did.
The risk of COVID escaping from hotel quarantine or a health-care setting will never be zero. But in NSW and Queensland, was everything possible done to minimise the risk?
A resident chats with workers at Orchard Villa Long-Term Care in Pickering, Ont., in June 2020.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the scarcity of resources in long-term care. But it has also revealed how staff are undervalued.
Rates of burnout and stress are high among doctors and other health-care providers.
By 2030, the WHO projects a worldwide workforce shortfall of about 18 million health-care workers, with potentially deadly consequences for patients, economies and our communities.
Achieving high COVID-19 vaccine uptake among health workers will not only protect these critical staff members, it will also support high levels of uptake among the general public.
Health-care workers need public support. Hospital workers outside Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, July 17, 2020.
Ontario health-care workers confidentially reported feeling sacrificed on the job and needing protection from COVID-19 and other risky working conditions in a recent study.
A designated coronavirus hospital would relieve pressure on the state’s health-care system and minimise the spread of the virus, but there are a few things to consider.
Dollarama worker Ze Carole Benedict, originally from Cameroon, addresses a demonstration in Montréal in August 2020 to join in calls for higher pay and better working conditions amid COVID-19.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Urgent measures are necessary from various levels of government to develop support programs for immigrant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A health-care worker is seen wearing full personal protective equipment outside the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. on April 3, 2020.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Health-care workers’ access to personal protective equipment, along with appropriate infection control procedures, affected their mental health during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some 70-80% of health-care workers testing positive to COVID-19 in Victoria’s second wave were infected at work, compared with 22% in the first wave.