Staffing changes to ER

QEH takes LPNs out, puts more nurses into emer­gency depart­ment

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY NIGEL ARM­STRONG THE GUARDIAN

Staffing changes are un­der­way in the emer­gency depart­ment of the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal.

It is part of a move in health care all across P.E.I. that be­gan with a re­port in 2009, a process known as the col­lab­o­ra­tive model of care.

Hos­pi­tal man­age­ment met Thurs­day with staff of the emer­gency depart­ment to an­nounce that li­censed prac­ti­cal nurses will no longer be part of that unit as of April.

It amounts to about eight full­time po­si­tions, but the ex­act num­ber of staff varies, since not ev­ery po­si­tion is filled by just one per­son, The Guardian was told.

“The hos­pi­tal is go­ing with an all-RN model for the emer­gency depart­ment,” said Karen Jack­son, pres­i­dent of the P.E.I. Union of Pub­lic Sec­tor Em­ploy­ees, which rep­re­sents LPNs em­ployed by Health P.E.I.

Jack­son and Health P.E.I. both told The Guardian that the LPNs will trans­fer to jobs in other parts of the hos­pi­tal.

“I feel that the LPNs are a valu­able re­source in that area,” she said. “They are com­pe­tent and skilled pro­fes­sion­als.”

For its part, the P.E.I. Nurses’ Union ap­plauds the move.

“In the emer­gency depart­ment, you have a very crit­i­cally ill and un­pre­dictable pa­tient pop­u­la­tion, and nurses need to have ex­cel­lent as­sess­ment skills, crit­i­cal think­ing skills and to be very knowl­edge­able,” said Mona O’Shea, pres­i­dent of the nurses’ union.

The Health P.E.I. web­site notes staff in­creases re­sult­ing from this process since it be­gan.

“As of sum­mer 2015, more than 75 full-time equiv­a­lent po­si­tions have been added through­out the prov­ince as a di­rect re­sult of the col­lab­o­ra­tive model of care, which has led to an in­crease of more than 150,000 pa­tient care hours,” says Health P.E.I.

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