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Articles on health-care workers

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Patient safety incidents are the third leading cause of death in Canada. (Shutterstock)

When health care goes wrong: It’s time for transparency in patient safety

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. (Shutterstock)

How rural Canada can attract and retain international health-care providers: Address discrimination, provide support

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

Workers, not warriors: 4 lessons from health worker protests during COVID-19 that could help avert a looming workforce crisis

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 

Patient aggression and physician burnout: The makings of a human resources crisis in health care

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. (Shutterstock)

The doctor won’t see you now: Why access to care is in critical condition

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.
Intensive care nurse Kathryn Ivey’s Tweet illustrates the impact of the pandemic on health-care workers. Used with permission. @kathryniveyy/Twitter

High rates of COVID-19 burnout could lead to shortage of health-care workers

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.
A resident chats with workers at Orchard Villa Long-Term Care in Pickering, Ont., in June 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

Resistance, innovation, improvisation: When governments fell short during COVID-19, long-term care workers stepped up

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the scarcity of resources in long-term care. But it has also revealed how staff are undervalued.
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

Immigrant women are falling behind during the COVID-19 pandemic

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

Heath-care workers lacking PPE suffer from more anxiety and depression

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.

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