Jacelyn Wingerter entered the nursing profession to help people, not knowing that she would feel “defeated” after less than a year on the job.
Wingerter, 22, became a registered nurse in January and began working in the emergency room at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.
The past eight months have been mired in exhaustion, exhaustion, overcapacity and a lack of nursing — problems that have plagued nurses and other health care workers. In other parts of Canada.
Wingerter, who first spoke about her experience in McClain article.
Usually 40 to 50 patients wait for care each day in a waiting room that seats about 20 people, Wingerter says. Wingerter says there aren’t enough nurses or beds for such a large patient load.
In one case, Wingerter says, there were a total of 120 patients in the emergency department. According to Wingerter, a patient who was “coding” – requiring immediate life-saving action – got stuck on an ambulance stretcher in the ambulance bay due to a lack of beds.
She also describes paramedics lining the halls waiting to unload patients, Stars Air Ambulance stuck waiting an hour to get a bed for their patient and nurses having to treat people in the aisles.
Tracy Zambori, president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN), says she fears the worst-case scenario will eventually happen.
“Someone may die because they did not get timely care because of the nursing crisis,” Zambori said.
146 hours of overtime in one month
Wingerter says she worked 290 hours in May. That’s 146 hours of overtime on top of the 144 hours she worked regularly.
While she admits it was her choice to work overtime, she says she felt “guilty” for not helping her colleagues in a difficult situation.
At the end of that month, I was like, ‘I can’t keep doing this anymore. “I’m young,” said Wingerter, “but I can’t work much. I will end up killing myself if I do that.”
SUN, which oversees 10,000 registered nurse practitioners and psychiatric nurses in the county, released data from this spring showing that 83 percent of members reported job openings in their units, more than double from last year.
The pressure on nurses, Wingerter says, hampers their ability to build a relationship with patients.
“We’re doing what we need to do to improve them,” Wingerter said. “But we’re not taking these extra steps to make them feel heard, to make them feel like they’re connected to health care providers.”
Wingerter says she never imagined she would be so exhausted at her age.
It affected all aspects of her life, leading to things like lack of sleep and wanting to only stay home on her days off because she lacked energy.
Wingerter says many of her colleagues feel the same way.
“The most important thing everyone says is that they don’t recognize themselves anymore, because they don’t know who they are anymore outside of work,” she said.
“Because you give your all at work and you have nothing left after that.”
She still works full time in the emergency room, but takes fewer overtime shifts.
Zambori says nurses are on the move throughout Saskatchewan.
“This feeling of being overwhelmed and feeling overwhelmed and not being able to cope with what’s going on in the workplace is all over healthcare,” she said.
“It affects the entire nursing profession registered in this province.”
Zambori says she recently spoke with Prime Minister Scott Moe, and wants him and the Saskatchewan Health Authority to “recognize there is a nursing crisis” and give the nurses a seat at the table to discuss solutions.
“There are challenges in human health resources across the country that Saskatchewan is currently facing,” the Department of Health said, in a prepared statement.
The statement stated that work is underway to recruit and retain employees.