Spiritwood, Sask. emergency room to close over weekend
2nd time in 2 weeks the emergency room has been closed due to nursing shortage
The Spiritwood Collaborative Emergency Centre will be closed October 14-15 due to staffing issues.
It is the second time in as many weeks that the emergency centre has been closed for two days. The centre was shut down on Sunday and Monday of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region says the closures were necessary after a registered nurse left her position unexpectedly. Right now, the emergency room has two nurses working out of a regular complement of four.
"We only have so many hours we can work people until they need some time off," said health region spokesperson Doug Dahl.
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Hospital staffing in rural Saskatchewan has been a problem in many health regions for years. For example, the nearby Integrated Health Centre in Shellbrook has had to cut back its number of hospital beds from 20 to 15 due to perennial staffing shortages.
"We're hopeful that we'll be able to get those positions (in Spiritwood) filled fairly quickly," Dahl said. "But it does take a little bit of time to find somebody."
The region said it was looking for nurses who had training necessary to work in emergency rooms. If they can't, it may take several months to give the nurse specialty courses.
Spiritwood's Primary Health Care Clinic is open Monday through Saturday and will be accepting walk-in patients.
Anyone with an emergency is asked to call 9-1-1 and follow instructions.
Spiritwood is located 147 kilometres north of Saskatoon.