Kamloops healthcare workers feeling 'overwhelmed, unsupported, and abandoned,' union says as COVID-19 fight continues

Nurses 'abandoned:' union

Nurses and other frontline healthcare workers at Royal Inland Hospital are being put under significant strain due to the facility's COVID-19 outbreak, according to the British Columbia Nurses’ Union.

In a statement issued Monday, the union said they have received many recent reports from nurses at the Kamloops hospital who said they don’t have access to the PPE they need while treating COVID patients.

“They’ve also said they are being forced to work dangerously understaffed, and are suffering from the psychological impact that comes with managing the crisis,” the union said.

Christine Sorensen, BCNU president, said in a statement nurses are feeling overwhelmed and unsupported at hospitals across the province.

“We know nurses are giving all of themselves, but yet, health employers are offering up very few solutions on how best to take care of their own staff.”

She called for the Ministry of Health to prioritize working with the union to ensure supports are in place for frontline healthcare workers.

“Nurses want to provide safe care, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult as they face an uphill battle,” Sorensen said.

“There needs to be a better plan in place to support those who have been sacrificing so much.”

Interior Health confirmed Monday that Royal Inland Health has had 102 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 66 of which have affected staff.

Of the total number of cases at RIH, 46 are considered active.

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