Montreal

Emergency room nurses at Trois-Rivières hospital stage sit-ins while hospital crowded

Their main concern is not having enough nurses to supply the high volume of patients at the Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire régional.

Their main concern not having enough nurses to supply high volume of patients

"It's dangerous for patient safety and that's what nurses are denouncing," said Nathalie Perron, president of the care professionals' union of Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec. (Radio-Canada)

Emergency room nurses at a hospital in Trois-Rivières held three sit-ins in less than 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday, with a high number of patients still needing urgent care.

Their main concern is not having enough nurses to supply the high volume of patients at the Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire régional (CHAUR).

"It's dangerous for patient safety and that's what nurses are denouncing," said Nathalie Perron, president of the care professionals' union of Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec.

Starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, nurses refused to work until they felt there were enough staff members to provide care for their patrons.

Shift team must continue working during sit-in

Nurses already on duty are obliged to continue working until more nurses arrive to fill their places.

The CHAUR emergency room team scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Saturday did not start its shift until 8 p.m. because three nurses were missing, Perron said.

"The nurses get exhausted when they're forced to work continually, and they put themselves at risk," Perron said.

Then, on Sunday, intensive care nurses performed a sit-in to express their frustration. By 5 p.m., there were "three or four" nurses missing to complete the team, Perron said.

'A real challenge' says CIUSS

The Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec CIUSSS said the situation presents a real challenge, especially at this time of year and during the weekends.

The organization is attempting to free up a maximum number of places to hospitalize patients on emergency stretchers in order to ease the workload of the hospital's nurses.

But a high influx of flu patients means special attention needs to be paid to disinfecting hospital beds. This slows down the process of making beds available.

The CIUSSS said it would do everything in its power to fill the gaps in personnel by organizing recruitment activities.

With files from Radio-Canada

now