Quebec Nursing Assistants Say They Can Make A Difference In Health Care

  1. posted on cbc news website:
    notice they make no explanation of why the hospitals might not be using asistants for more advanced functions. another missed opportunity to explore the deeper issues of health care. the readers are left to make their own interpretation, and the issues (all sides) are not even mentioned. oh, except the $$. that always gets mentioned. grr.

    quebec nursing assistants say they can make a difference in health care

    montreal-- hospitals in quebec looking for new ways to overcome a crippling shortage of nurses, says they're not willing to change the responsibilities of nursing assistants, in order to relieve the stress on the system.

    the quebec order of nursing assistants says it could help relieve overworked, fatigued nurses. but many hospitals refuse to use them, in spite of having no other solutions to fix the chronic problem.

    at the emergency room at montreal's sacrè-coeur hospital, patients can wait hours, or even days for help.

    johanne roy, head of the nursing department, says a chronic shortage of nurses means fewer patients can be helped. waiting lists are long. and, she says the situation is getting worse.

    "we're missing around 300 nurses, so we're very short. so for them it's very hard to continue. it's a lot of pressure and it's an increased workload."

    many nurses are lured away to ontario or the u.s. for better money. some american hospitals offer signing bonuses, paid rent on apartments and the promise of less workplace stress.

    nadia colella, a nursing assistant - or what some provinces call a licensed nursing practitioner - says hospitals are missing a solution sitting right under their noses. "sixty per cent of 16,000 nursing assistants are working part time. it doesn't make sense," she said.

    colella says nursing assistants are ready to take over tasks such as giving medication and changing bandages. that would free up nurses to handle greater patient loads.

    but hospitals are reluctant. one administrator at sacrè-coeur hospital says she's willing to part with tradition and give nursing assistants a try. otherwise, she says, the hospital may be forced to close more beds and turn patients away
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    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 561; Likes: 126


  3. by   P_RN
    Wonder if they have a "spin doctor."
  4. by   nursy_ann
    I just worry about..... if we part our patients with an assistant will we be able to know their evolution? I mean we would miss some good info.

  5. by   P_RN
    Yes you might miss some good information.

    However, if you have up to 15 patients per RN, you need SOMEBODY to help. I don't mind having the help. It makes you have to be more alert and on guard for problems.

    I don't know how Quebec manages nurses and assistants so I'm probably not getting the whole picture.

    ----Oui vous pourriez manquer de la bonne information. Cependant, si vous avez jusqu'à 15 patients par RN, vous avez besoin de QUELQU'UN pour aider. Je ne m'occupe pas d'avoir l'aide. Elle vous fait doit être plus alerte et sur la garde pour des problèmes. Je ne sais pas le Québec contrôle des infirmières et des aides ainsi je n'obtiens probablement pas l'image entière.
  6. by   -jt
    <MONTREAL-- Hospitals in Quebec looking for new ways to overcome a crippling shortage of nurses, says they're not willing to change the responsibilities of nursing assistants, in order to relieve the stress on the system.>

    Big difference here. I read recently that the American Hospital Association was trying to convince the state officials in Illinois to consider increasing the responsibilities & functions of UAPs as a way to combat the nursing shortage. Anything to avoid spending money on making the necessary improvements that will attract nurses.

    Ignore the reasons why nurses are leaving. Ignore the hundreds of thousands of nurses nation wide that refuse to work in abusive, low paying conditions & just convince the public that "there are no nurses to be found" Perfect excuse to then hire less expensive UAPs to take their place.

    One might even think this was the plan all along.
  7. by   nursy_ann
    In quebec we already have all the help we need ( préposés aux bénéficiaires) who do a lot to help patients.
    And in med-surgical unit we take 4 or 5 patients not more. Sure it is difficult but..... It is posible!
    A patient doesn't required a PAB, a nurse and an aux. nurse!
  8. by   P_RN
    I believe the last time I had 4-5 patients was 1993 or thereabouts.
  9. by   nursy_ann
    well.......maybe I just to young to understand ....hehehe
    I'm just a student. and......didn't want to talk about patients....but rooms...that mean we have between 10 and 16 patients.
    Last edit by nursy_ann on Mar 2, '02
  10. by   Teachchildren123
    Well, the nursing assistants role could be more specific than of more than assisting with feeding, grooming, turn and positioning, ambulation, drawing blood, finger sticks, emotional supports, recording intakes outputs, changing dressings, emptying JP's...
    Yes, a good nursing assistant can make a huge difference in health care. I'll admit, I was a very good one and I could have done even more, if my ob description would have allowed me! Some assistants are just "angels" and essential.:angel2:
    But, if the Quebec Government and Association des Infirmiers et Infirmieres would not be so ridiculous with that exam in French to pass before being able to practice there, I am sure that a lot of qualified nurses would be coming back. I could be one of them myself having a relatively strong ICU practice by now. But I do not think that I could pass the exam in French. Even, if it is my primary language, I would have to brush up seriously on my abbreviations...
    Have them give the exam in english if the nurse desires, with a french interview (if they really want to hear if people can communicate in french!)
  11. by   DusktilDawn
    Is there a link to this article?
    I'm wondering if they are actually talking about nursing assistants or licensed practical nurses. What is being described sounds like Ontario's situation with RPNs/LPNs and the expansion of that role in acute care settings. It would actually make more sense to expand the role of the LPN in Canadian hospitals.
  12. by   Katnip
    I'm confused about Canadian nursing assitants, too.

    It says they're licensed. What is their current education and scope of practice? Does it include pharmaclogy?

    I have no problem with our techs who will do wound care, insert Foleys, change simple dressings, I&Os,glucose checks, splints, as well as ADLs, bless them. There are some I've had to follow behind, and others I know I don't don't.
  13. by   carlomesiano
    Hi I am a Nursing assistant in Quebec. I can do most acts that a Nurse can do. I am qualified do everything from the adminster meds, to drsg changes, to vaccines, to suctions of trachs, to even discontinue IV's...Though we are not allowed to insert IV's, but that may soon change. Nursing assistants or LPN's are very important. I hope more and more health care professional will soon wake up and see how important it is to have Nursing assistants.
  14. by   fergus51
    I have never worked with a nursing assistant in a Canadian hospital. We were either all RN or RN/LPN teams where I worked.