'You're a robot going through the motions,' says nurse who quit N.L. health centre over widespread stresses
2019-02-09 from cbc.ca
A senior nurse hopes her resignation last month from the Labrador Health Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., because of stressful shortstaffing and other situations sends a strong message to her former employer.
Doreen Hawco-Mahoney worked for Labrador-Grenfell Health as a registered nurse for 23 years. She said she made the difficult decision to resign, with plans to continue her nursing work in Nova Scotia, after she woke up one day and felt as if she were "dying inside" and couldn't see herself maintaining a good work-life balance at the health centre for the remainder of her career.
"It has affected me personally, professionally, and affected my health and well-being," she said in a CBC Labrador Morning interview.
"I'm struggling to be an effective parent to my girls and a wife to my husband," she said.
Hawco-Mahoney, who served in various local and provincial roles with the Registered Nurses' Union of Newfoundland and Labrador, said filling vacant positions with locum or agency nurses — or sometimes not filled at all — means nurses are short-staffed.
Budget cuts and restructuring at the health centre mean staff are forced to do more with less, she said. Hawco-Mahoney also said the facility is "unstable" when it comes to the recruitment and retention of nurses, due to Labrador's geography and the social determinants of health.
She said there are more staff leaving the facility than there are coming, and worries about the quality of work life for those left behind.
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