There’a a call for a “change in the culture” at St. Joseph’s Healthcare.
Ontario Nurses Association President Linda Haslam-Stroud is responding to a series of assaults against staff at the hospital’s West 5th campus.
Most recently, a nurse was tackled and groped when she pulled away from a patient’s attempt to kiss her.
That follows at least six incidents last winter, including one beating that left a nurse unconscious and another during which hot coffee was thrown in a nurse’s face.
Haslam-Stroud adds that the mental health facility has had 24 orders issued against it by the Ministry of Labour since December of 2015.
In part, she blames budget cuts noting that St. Joe’s has cut hundreds of registered nurses in recent years, replacing them with practical nurses. She stresses that “complex” and “unpredictable” patients require the services of an RN.
Haslam-Stroud adds that they will no longer accept that violence is part of their job and she wants to hear it from the top that “our nurses and keeping them safe is a number one priority”.
Within their report, ministry inspectors found that nurses have taken to using things like pillows and mattresses to shield themselves from patients.