The nurses are exhausted

Nurses are exhausted

DAY

Under pressure from skyrocketing hospitalizations and calls from the government for “another effort”, employees of the health network are calling on Quebec to cease its governance by decree allowing the cancellation of vacations or full-time work obligation.

“That they try to cancel my vacation for fun. I guarantee you that I'm going, “says, a touch of disgust in her voice, a nursing assistant from the CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches.

If the return of Ministerial Order 2020-007 had caused a stir on January 3, the rapid increase in hospitalizations everywhere has added a layer since.

“I just did 13 evenings online, I have a little off and I'm leaving for seven more . My part, I do it, ”adds this CHSLD employee who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals following her exit.

And this testimony is just one of many. On social networks, the messages of caregivers at the end are more and more numerous. Mélanie Perreault is one of those who shared their feelings.

“When a doctor or a nurse makes the headlines [because he or she] has left a message that the COVID pressure will have led him to suicide, it will be too late, ”she wrote in a post that has been widely shared for a few days.

The Joliette hospital nurse has herself been on sick leave for several weeks due to anxiety related to the pandemic. And she is not alone, she assures.

“I have a colleague who recently resigned because she had just had her vacation canceled for the second year in a row. […] We are going to freak out soon when we see the number of people with mental health problems, ”warns the nurse who is waiting for a position in home support to take back the collar. “The hospital, I don’t want to know anything anymore. »

“Like cattle”

It is to stop this bleeding that the Quebec Association of Nurses (AQII) calls on the government to worry about “the caregivers who are still there”. And the incentives announced Thursday are not enough, according to the association.

“[It is] putting a Band-Aidon hemorrhage. […] These bonuses seem to earn more political points at the CAQ than to have a real impact on the network, ”estimates Natalie Stake-Doucet who adds that it is to the threats of canceled vacations, to the obligation to full time, staff travel and mandatory overtime that must be addressed.

“Quebec has never had so many nurses, but the nurses no longer want to work in the network because they are treated like cattle. […] We are no longer in the days of the nuns when we swore before God that we would be ready to sacrifice ourselves for the hospital, ”insists Natalie Stake-Doucet, insisting on the sad reality of the workers.

“We often talk about the fact that it's a vocation, but we have to stop. It's a job. No other sector would agree to be treated like this. »

“Deserved” vacation for Arruda

In the midst of the fifth wave, which is hitting hospitals even harder than the first four, workers are asking for a little more concern about their condition. And that we respect them.

“When Minister Dubé said that Dr. Arruda was going to take a few weeks of well-deserved rest after his resignation because he had not had it easy, I can guarantee you that it went wrong, ”says Mélanie Perreault. “The nurse who had her vacation canceled at the last minute, didn't she deserve it? » 

Love to carers who need it  

Failing to be able to get out of the quagmire in which the health network is bogged down, nurses are setting up a great movement of recognition and good deeds that will at least give some comfort to caregivers who really need it.< /p>

“It's so extreme what we're going through that I said to myself, if the rest we can't do it, we'll at least love each other”, confides Mélanie Perreault, nurse at the Joliette Hospital, which is behind the “My dose of love” initiative, with Sophie Cousineau and Sabrina Picard.

Doing good

The objective is simple: to do good by recognizing the work of health personnel, at the front for 22 months.

< p>Throughout the month of February, the three nurses invite the managers of the network, but also the entire population to do small things for caregivers or to show them their gratitude.

“It's been so long that everything is black, that we could turn a little crazy, that we have to swing that. We have to turn that around. There is a desire for life, for light in there,” explains Ms. Perreault, who also invites well-known personalities to join the movement.

“There have been a few approaches taken, some have confirmed that they were going to help us. It doesn't have to be much, just a little video can help lift it all up and do a lot of people good.”

Viral Goal

The organizers hope that their month of love will become provincial.

With the hashtag #madosedamour, they want to create a real movement throughout February on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.

“We have already had confirmations from people who will participate on the North Shore, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, even in Nunavut. Go plow your neighbor nurse's car, cook, say you're grateful and share it. It may be corny, but I think that's what we need because a lot of people don't have the energy to fight anymore. It certainly can't hurt,” believes Mélanie Perreault.

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