LETTER: Island Health’s announcement to hire nursing graduates is ‘executive spin’

Dear editor,

Island Health is going to hire 11 new graduate nurses for the Comox Hospital?

New graduates need the financial stability of full-time employment and benefits to not only pay off their significant student debt, but to be able to pay rent/mortgage/gas or grocery bills. Not a “promise” to “maybe” be called into work when the hospital is “desperate.”

To work long, un-pensionable hours in chaotic surroundings for years on end. This is how young graduates learn to become those uncaring nurses who are just there to get the job done and make it to the end of a shift until a better career comes along.

We also need to provide the staff that are already working with over-capacity patient loads in overcrowded conditions the appropriate time and space to help guide new graduates to being the experienced, caring and capable nurses they want to be.

Hiring a handful of brand new casual graduates isn’t going to help the misuse of acute care beds. There will still be patients in hallways.

There isn’t a shortage of nurses as much as there is a shortage of jobs for them to occupy. BCNU stating that there is a nursing shortage “looming” illustrates that they are not really interested in meeting the needs of those they are supposed to serve.

Nurses are being affected negatively daily by all of this and a union that has grown so large that it is more about collecting dues than it is about fulfilling their contract promises of more full-time staff.

It is time for the Health Authority and BCNU to remove their heads from the dark cavities they seem to be inhabiting, and get on with the task of taking care of our health and our healthcare professionals.

Barbara Mellin,

Comox

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