Did you know nurses make up about half of Canada’s healthcare work force? They are the largest group of regulated health professionals, and in some remote areas, they may be the only healthcare providers around.
Nurses have been on the front lines working tirelessly during the COVID-19 crisis, so I decided to poll some of my nurse friends on Facebook, asking them to tell me one thing that they wish the public or their patients/residents could know. Below are their responses:
- “Do not assume a nurse is always a “she”. A large percentage of Canadian nurses are men! In the past 5 years, the growth in male nurses was triple that of female nurses.”
- “Nurses do not just work in hospitals. A growing segment are now home health nurses, who will shoulder much of the care of Canada’s aging population. Their goal is to keep you healthy and safe where you live.”
- “I wish I had more time to listen to their stories and learn about them, their preferences and their lives.”
- “The last few months have been really difficult. I know you have missed your family and I wish I could just sit and talk with you for hours. Please know that behind this mask I have a smile for you every day!”
- “I get yelled at almost every shift about COVID-19 and procedures. I know it is difficult for you, and it is difficult for us too. Please give us some grace.”
- “I wish my patients could see my face because expressions mean so much! I wish they could see when I am smiling and so happy for them or their family, happy to see them recover, or proud when they accomplish something new. I have been guilty of pulling my mask down at times because trying to explain to a family what is going to happen to their loved ones when we are palliating them is something I cannot do behind a mask. Even now when walking down hallways, no one sees each other’s smiles and polite hellos! I know why it is necessary, but I miss seeing people smiling faces.” (Plan A Owner and Nurse)
- “I am a homecare nurse and I wish that everyone was a priority and I wish I could get to you faster but sometimes I have to drive 30 minutes to get to you. I am sorry I am late. Please don’t hate me if I have to change the time to see you. I wish I could spend more time with you to listen to your needs. I am sorry I made a mistake on your supply order. I wish I can do better or more for you.”
- “We wish we had more time to give the care we envisioned in nursing school. Books vs. real life is so different for all health care professionals.”
- “I am only one person and I am only human. I wish I could do everything you want and need at this moment but unfortunately, I do have 4 or 5 other patients that need me too.” (RN, hospital setting)
- “With so many baby boomers, Canada will be short an estimated 60,000 registered nurse by 2022, that is not including all other health care professionals. The situation is especially acute in Ontario where there are 20% fewer nurses per 100,000 people than the Canadian average.”
If you’re a health care professional, what is one thing you wish more people knew? Leave them in the comments below!
~ Patty Shepherd, Owner/Operator, Plan A Glengarry