More than 60,000 front-line registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and others are celebrating Nursing Week 2015 this week.
Throughout the week, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) will also attempt to highlight the many health and safety concerns of their members in need of addressing.
“ONA members provide the best value in health care,” said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “Despite this, the profession is facing challenges even as we celebrate Nursing Week. We have seen more than 800,000 hours of RN care cut from Ontario hospitals this year alone, and our members are struggling with heavy workloads, working excessive overtime and facing workplace violence.”
Nursing Week is marked worldwide to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale on May 12. ONA bargaining units in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics and industry will mark the week with education sessions and other events.
Hours of work and workplace violence have long been an issue in the healthcare sector. These are just two of the many workplace hazards faced by ONA members on a daily basis while they strive to provide quality care to their patients. Other hazards include but are not limited to: exposure to toxic chemicals such as antineoplastic drugs and anesthetic gases; patient handling and other ergonomic issues; slippery walking/working surfaces; biological hazards and infectious diseases; as well as poor indoor air quality and ventilation.
For our part the Workers Health & Safety Centre offers several comprehensive training programs designed to meet the needs of healthcare workers throughout Ontario. The following are just some of the WHSC programs developed to help employers, supervisors, joint health and safety committees and workers identify, assess and ensure the control of workplace hazards:
Emergency Preparedness and Pandemic Response Plans
Ergonomics in Health Care and Social Services
Hours of Work
Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation
To learn more:
and ask to speak to a training services representative.