Registered practical nurses struggling with pandemic stress, workload: poll – CBC

More than a third of surveyed workers considered leaving profession, indicates poll of 2,600 CUPE RNPs

May 09, 2021

Pam Parks says she has a routine to pick herself up before she starts every one of her 12-hour hospital shifts these days.

The registered practical nurse drives the five minutes to work at an Oshawa, Ont., hospital with her car radio turned up and sings along in a bid to lift her spirits.

She tries to take her mind, ever so briefly, off the stress, uncertainty and large workload that awaits her in the emergency room that day, as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

Even after 33 years in the profession, Parks said the pandemic has opened her eyes to the fragility of our health care system and the distress both she and her fellow nurses feel.

“I get into the parking lot and sit, and regroup,” she said, acknowledging that some days its hard to go into work.

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