Staff at LTC home in North Bay worried about staffing levels: Ontario Nurses’ Association
The Ontario Nurses’ Association is sounding the alarm over what it calls “serious concerns” regarding the lack of registered nursing positions at Cassellholme Home For The Aged in North Bay.
The association said it has received letters from several staff members who say they want action on understaffing issues at the long-term care home they said is directly impacting resident care.
“What nurses have said to me is that they are alarmed and very worried that staffing levels have dropped and will continue to drop,” said ONA President Vicki McKenna.
The association said the long-term care home’s management’s lack of action is impacting the safety of residents.
“They have complex medical needs and need assistance just with daily living,” said McKenna. “Sometimes there’s the issue of cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.”
Currently at Cassellholme, there are nine registered nurses, 49 registered practical nurses and 139 personal support workers. Cassellholme Board of Management chair Chris Mayne said recruiting more staff is a challenge and plans to address it at a board meeting Thursday night.
The board is presenting an idea to go down from two RNs during the day shift to one, but be assisted by three RPNs. Mayne said the idea is being brought up due to the issue of the lack of registered nurses.
“The challenge is actually finding nursing staff. We will be looking to provide additional RNAs as team leads in providing care,” said Mayne. “We have been working with community colleges and, while we can’t train nurses, we have been setting up PSW programs to train and basically hire those people.”
The ONA is calling on the board to listen to what the home’s nurses have to say and ensure the residents and have the care they need.
“The nurses there want to help and work on this together and they believe they have not had a voice,” said McKenna.