Canadian nursing - page 2

Hey, I'm a student nurse in England. When I qualify I am thinking of emigrating to another country for a few years and I think I'd quite like to move to Canada. I've been there on holiday and also have some relatives over... Read More

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    Zebidee, Just curious........have you worked anywhere else in T.O other than your present position? If not maybe a change would be the ticket. I have a friend who is an RN in Ottawa, she is an ER nurse and loves it.......the Doctor's are friendly and respectful. However she used to work on a med/surg floor and did not like it too much but I think her main complaints were the other nurses!!

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  2. 0
    Hi guys,
    I haven't worked anywhere else in Toronto but from what I hear there are problems at many of the other hospitals here(as there are at home)one of the things I find really bad is the fact that patients can wait for many days in ER for a bed. I have admitted acute MI's that have sat for 3 days on a stretcher in ER(now no longer being acute) and the door to needle times are...well let's just say you don't need a watch but a calendar.
    I know things for us nurses are usually pretty poor wherever you go(does job utopia really exist?) but I still think that the system we used in Scotland is better, less paperwork, more autonomy and teamwork and better patient care which is what we are all about. Right?
    I am a nurse educator I cover a 38 bed telemetry and a 6 bed CCU with a total of about 70 staff and I don't know how the floor nurses cope with 6/7 high accuity cardiac patients on days and sometimes 9/10 on nights. I have the utmost respect for just how hard the nurses work, slogging it out on every shift and keep coming back. Kudos kudos to the floor nurses.

    I have a question though. How would you like to work in a system where the Dr writes clearly and directly into the medication sheet. No transcribing of orders and No waiting for pharmacy?
  3. 0
    Just to add another positive note on nursing in the TO area (I work in Mississauga).

    1) Dr's orders are never checked by two nurses. On days, the unit clerk checks them, sends them to pharmacy and flags the chart for the nurse. On nights the nurse will send them down on their own. There is a considerable delay of the med coming up from pharmacy with this system but if you need it earlier you can walk the order down and grab the med. This is assuming it's not stocked on the floor, which most commonly used meds are (tylenol, gravol, pain meds, etc).

    2) Staffing here isn't as bad as you describe. I work on an onc/gmed floor and we have 4-5 pts on days and 9-10 on nights. Busy but quite managable.

    3) Where I work, the multi-disciplinary team works together quite well to address code status issues. In my four years here I have only seen two unnecessary codes... one was a 102 year old lady who took an unexpected bad turn (that code lasted all of three minutes) and the other was at the family's instistance. Medical staff can have their moments but all in all are quite easy to get along with.

    4) My hospital isn't unionized so I can't speak to those issues.

    5) Nursing issues are the domain of nursing. I have never seen an order addressing bathing (they do at your hospital?) or other daily routine needs. Ambulation orders are generally AAT unless pts need to be restricted. Turning, non-medicated dressings, diet textures and adjustments, etc are all up to the judgement of the nurse (as it should be) barring some quite specific need of the pt.

    Having the doc write clearly and directly onto the med sheet sounds like a great system... a few questions though. Where do you get the meds from? Who prepares and checks them? Who makes up the list of medications for the next day? If a new order changes a previous order does the doctor correct it or is that left up to the nurse? There is a reason why we have a doctors order system. Granted, much of the paperwork is unnecessary but all in all I don't really have a problem with our system.

    The pay here is better than what you describe. Starting for a fresh new grad is about 45,000 Cdn a year, with full benefits for fulltime. Tack on an extra 15% in lieu of benefits if you're working casual or part time.

    Hope this helps!
  4. 0
    Hi Bigjay,

    I am so glad you posted regarding the hospital you work at here in T.O. I am presently a student Nurse (going into 2nd year), and I am hoping to work within the hospital network. Of course I like to hear what I have to look forward to and the positive side is what I like to hear more!!

    I have a question about working at a non-union you feel there are any advantages or disadvantages compared to union? I know Sick Kids is also non-union.

  5. 0
    I live and work in the Vancouver area, British Columbia. Rather than come to BC, I would recommend that you go to Alberta. I've been watching "reality" set in with the "new grads".... only hired for "casual" work, no benefits, no nothing. This applies to experienced nurses who are looking for a change in employers or have been one of the 600 "displaced" nurses in BC.

    One of the local hospitals (St Mary's) is "losing it's contract" with the provincial government, and experienced OR, PACU, SDC nurses are only being offered casual work at the other hospitals in the area (the ones, including mine, who are bemoaning the lack of nurses). They expect these people to kiss off all of their seniority and benefits. In fact, the provincial employer organization (HEABC) has fought tooth-and-nail with the Labour Relation Board and it's ruling that these "displaced" nurses seniority/benefits are supposed to be portable between employers.

    If you're interested in "doing" a specialty nursing program, the employer might provide a "compressed time frame study", but you will be expected to pay up to 60% of the costs of the program, then work "casual" for at least 6 months after the program is finished if you weren't originally on-staff at that hospital. In that case, you will also only be paid "casual" wages (3rd year level), and only for the hours that you spend on the specialty unit doing clinical time, while you take the program. Since the contract with BCNU says that benefits are portable for up to 9 months from leaving the original employer, the new employer has now gotten you past the portability time and so now you have to start all over.

    Check out the website for the British Columbia Nurses Union,, if you want to see what the issues with this provincial government are. Someone farther up on this thread said that BC nursing was having to deal with "politics". How right they were. BCNU publically humiliated the BC Liberal government last summer with our "going public" about the acute nursing shortage, non-competitive wages, etc and they struck back via changes to our "imposed by them" contract, deleting provincial funding for specialty courses, etc.

    Unless you're willing to work "anywhere within 30 kilometers" of your employer "for up to 7 days at a time", and/or "anywhere within the province for up to 30 days at a time, 3 X year", don't come. To refuse "is considered to be immediate resignation".

    The provincial health minister even threatened to pass legislation refusing to allow "verification of credentials" by the RNABC. To ask to have "verification of credentials" means that the nurse is planning on working out-of-province. This would mean that any BC-trained nurse would be unable to get a license anywhere else.

    These idiots think that this is how to fix the nursing shortage.

    Our contract expires March 31, 2004, and I'm sure that this will be the scenario. The Liberals will still be in control of the government (they have 77/79 seats). Our contract will be "extended" so that no job action (such as refusing overtime) can occur, the employers will submit their demands and same will be legislated in. There will be either minimal lip service or no consultation with our bargaining committee.

    Believe me, this provincial government does not give a crap about nurses/nursing issues. They're still running under the belief that we are "girls" who should do as daddy says, should be willing for the least amount of $$ that can be paid because, of course, we only went into nursing in order to "serve humanity". Glorified maids or nuns, and when we step out of our assigned "role", we become bytches, needing to be put in our place. The president of the BCNU was even subjected to rude remarks about her weight and love life, even where she chooses to shop for her jewelery, in the media.

    Go somewhere that at least appears to respect you and what you do for a living. Read the blurb from the Calgary Herald, which says that BC is busy pinkslipping RNs while Alberta is encouraging them to go there. 600 RNs have been pinkslipped so far here.

    Bonnie Lantz, president of The Registered Nurses Association of BC (RNABC), has publically gone on record with the information that there are 27,000 licensed RNs in BC, by 2011, 15,000 will have retired.

    In, as of this date, 3 years 11 months and 7 days, I can retire at the 60 year age, I intend to do so. Then, I'm going to rent our my house and go live/work in Alberta until 65.
    Last edit by jurbyjunk on Aug 25, '02

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