Nursing changes worry retired Victoria RN

Former nurse calls on Island Health to explain reasons for change

Re: Nurses union ads frustrating for reader (Letters, Jan. 29)

George Zador has challenged those of us nurses with a BSN, four-year nursing program to speak up, so I am.

I have been a nurse in acute care and community care, and I have been an instructor in the Care Aide and LPN programs.

I am retired, have a few chronic conditions that could easily become more serious and have recently been a patient.

Admission to acute care is provided only to individuals who are very ill, needing surgery or urgent treatment.

While bathing, toileting and assistance with meals are tasks that can be done by aides for some patients, many people do not realize the ongoing assessments that are done during these tasks, assessments those with limited training may miss.

Patients will be discharged as soon as these tasks can be done with minimal assistance, even though they may have complications that require ongoing intervention.

I challenge Island Health to provide sufficient data to let us know why they are making these changes.

Cost-saving does not mean lifesaving, or a ‘quick fix.’

I have witnessed the morale deteriorate of nurses who provide excellent care, as they are now under extreme stress.

Patients will have fewer experts making decisions based on advanced, educated observations and the understanding of varied conditions and medications, not to mention subtle changes that could become life-threatening.

I fear patients will be discharged without ongoing planning, treatment and follow-up and may not be physically or mentally able to recover safely at home.

Many patients already return to the emergency room within a short time.

If we do not speak up now, we won’t have any input or choice for our own hospital care, should that happen.

We need to retain care providers who are highly educated, experienced and trained in the specialty of acute care.

Judith Hodgson, RN, BSN retired