Staffing changes to ER
QEH takes LPNs out, puts more nurses into emergency department
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.