What do you think about this issue? Let us know by emailing your letter to the editor to: editor@theprogress.com.

LETTERS: Nurses union president calls Chilliwack ER wait times ‘unacceptable’

Says health authorities must actively address safe staffing levels for nurses

I’d like to respond to Jessica Peters’ column: “Changes in the ER wait room may be causing more grief than good,” where she describes her recent, unpleasant, experience in the emergency room at Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH).

There’s no question that Ms. Peters’ experience was horrible. As a nurse, and president of the BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU), I would like to thank her for acknowledging the challenging environment in this particular ER. I know that nurses are morally distressed as they manage chaotic and packed emergency rooms. Their daily work experiences usually include unrealistic workloads, limited staffing levels and in many cases, violence.

I can assure you that BCNU is equally frustrated with the conditions at CGH. Despite a growing population in Chilliwack, the hospital’s ER is only staffed with one triage nurse, and one night doctor.

As Chilliwack’s walk-in clinics reach capacity daily, it’s not uncommon for CGH to see upwards of 190 patients in a 24-hour-period. While Ms. Peters waited three hours, for many, a grueling six to eight hour wait is often the reality.

This is unacceptable. It is the responsibility of all health authorities to actively address safe staffing levels so nurses can provide safe patient care. BCNU’s latest contract includes language that gives incentives to health authorities to address recruitment and retention. While we are pleased to be collaborating with health authorities on long-term efforts to relieve systemic staffing issues, we feel strongly that this ongoing crisis at CGH deserves immediate attention.

Christine Sorensen

President, BC Nurses’ Union

Just Posted

VIDEO: Feds announce $45 million for flood mitigation near Chilliwack

Six km of new diking will be built to protect Skway, Shxwha:y Village and Chilliwack property

Chilliwack council asking Competition Bureau to investigate gas prices

City councillor says ‘I think it’s fair to say we are being hosed’ here in the Lower Mainland

Wheelchair basketball’s Ben Hagkull inspires Cheam elementary school students

The Chilliwack native and member of the Canadian national program spoke at his former school.

New Chilliwack cycling organization focuses on seniors

Volunteer ‘pilots’ carry those with mobility issues on trishaws

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Busy day for passengers on BC Ferries

First two sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay full Thursday morning

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

VIDEO: Vanouver Giants come back to earn 4-3 overtime victory

Playing in Spokane for the second consecutive night, the G-Men triumph put them 3-1 in the playoffs

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Most Read