The Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union says its members at an eastern Newfoundland hospital are being asked to do after-hours work that ought to be done by pharmacists.
Nurses at the hospital in Clarenville are left a supply of drugs in a secure cabinet on weekends, when no pharmacist is on duty.
Union president Debbie Forward says that does not replace the services of a qualified pharmacist, and raises issues of liability.
"The nurse who is doing that retrieval is being told they have no responsibility around checking allergies or any interactions with other drugs that the patient might be on, looking at the patient's drug history, etc. — they have no responsibility for that," Forward said.
Nurses at the hospital are uncomfortable with the situation, Forward added, because they are not trained to handle prescriptions.
A shortage of pharmacists prompted administrators to make the move, which the regional health board says is not optimal.
More... Hospital nurses doing pharmacists' work: union