It’s time for Eastern Health to change

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Having just resigned from St. Patrick’s Mercy Home a short time ago I feel compelled to shed some light on a few harsh realities of health care — particularly Eastern Health.

It is appalling to me that after 33 years of working in nursing, you could be treated with such a lack of respect.

Working in a nursing home is a vital and important link in our community. People are living longer and need the quality of life they deserve.

The people who do this work, of course, need to be recognized for their value.

The managers and supervisors of facilities such as nursing homes seem to forget a stark reality — it could be their mother, father, brother, etc. or even themselves who could one day reside in a home. For Eastern Health, it’s time to wake up and look in the mirror.

The 33 years that I’ve worked at the St. Pat’s has given me a certain insight into the attitudes that seem to be prevalent.

If your family member gets sick and you need time off, you have to defend your right to even ask. Why should that be?

When I worked there, there were plenty of casuals and part-time staff who needed the hours just to pay their rent, so why couldn’t they fill in for the staff member who needs that break? It would be win-win for everybody.

Asking for annual leave became like asking whether you would become an organ donor after you die.

I’m amazed that the management can’t see that a break from work now and then only improves the quality of resident care. Maybe it’s because they could care less.

It’s time to start caring.

Another thing I don’t understand is why you should have to use your sick time when you have plenty of annual leave available. That is only creating the problem they’re trying to cure — abuse of sick time. Whose fault is that?

I hate to be bitter, but sometimes you have to tell it like it is. Despite all these distractions I enjoyed my time at St. Patrick’s for my own reasons. The resident care and interaction with family members has been rewarding for me personally. I’ve always tried to be an advocate for their rights because I could be in their shoes.

 It’s about time Eastern Health takes the same outlook — before it’s too late.

Barry Ploughman

St. John’s

Organizations: Mercy Home

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  • unknown
    December 18, 2012 - 11:33

    Here here Barry..couldn't agree more. It blows my mind why St.Pats runs into so much overtime..oh nevermind I know that answer. You can not get an hour of annual leave, and are forced to use sick time for out of province appointments instead of granting AL which they owe us anyway. I have been waiting since Oct to find out if my AL for April has been approved, with no guarantee I will recieve it. They blame this on staff shortage, but if the truth were known between all the mangers they would not be able to properly staff that building. They need to realize this "skill mix" is the worst idea ever brought forward with eastern health.