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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Future Finlandia Lion Ian Heagy with his biggest fan, mom Jen Heagy. (submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey player Ian Heagy defies the odds to land at Finlandia

Having never played a minute of rep, Heagy is making the jump from house to NCAA Div 2 hockey

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

Brian Combes after getting keys to his new house on April 9, 2021. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Homeless no more on Skwah First Nation after 20 years

Brian Combes gets the keys to his newly built home near Chilliwack

In 2012, police in Abbotsford placed surveillance cameras near the Dhaliwal home in the 2500 block of Bradner Road after there were two drive-by shootings in the area. Harb Dhaliwal, 31, has now been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting April 17 in Vancouver. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford man named as victim of fatal weekend shooting in Vancouver

Harpreet Dhaliwal, 31, killed outside of Cardero’s restaurant in Coal Harbour

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read