Inexperienced nurses a 'rural reality,' Central Health NL says
Central Health disagrees with accusations made by the nurses union that workers in rural sites are overworked and understaffed.
"Our rural reality is that it's very difficult and challenging to recruit and retain nursing staff," said Trudy Stuckless, chief nursing officer with Central Health.
"In many of our rural sites, there will be times when the nurse only has a year's experience."
In those cases, Stuckless said, nurses are given a "robust education."
She said nursing staff will now be offered training opportunities in larger emergency rooms in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor to help them adapt.
In a recent interview with CBC Radio's Central Morning Show, Registered Nurses' Union President Debbie Forward recalled an instance in which a new nurse in Springdale told Forward she felt overwhelmed on the job.
The woman, Forward said, had a patient who went into cardiac arrest.
The only other person on staff was also a recent graduate.
"For this one-year-old grad, this was her second cardiac arrest she's ever seen in her practice, and she was it. There was no doctor, she was the senior person on that site," Forward said.
"She said it was overwhelmingly scary for [her]."
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