Long Term Care Facilities Could See Increased Healthcare Opportunities
Amid concerns of overworked employees and cases of patient neglect, long term care facilities are in need of prompt attention. At least that’s the message from registered practical nurses and personal support workers who make the operation of such facilities possible.
Registered nurses and PSW’s are demanding that the province set mandatory staff-to-patient ratios to help ensure proper care for the residents of long term care facilities. An incredible 91 per cent of health care workers surveyed by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions reported being unable to provide quality care because there are too few workers and too many residents.
Nurses and PSW’s even refer to the situation as ‘dangerous’ when describing their inside perspective of a problem that the public knows little about. “The staff are the only ones that are aware. Hopefully there is going to be change. We are going to keep knocking on government’s doors,” says personal support worker Dorothy Winterburn.
Current working conditions at long term care homes sometimes find personal support workers looking after 42 residents at a time, with nurses claiming that they sometimes care for between 30-42 individuals at a time.
Kevin Tyrrell of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions notes that regulations are in place for children in daycare facilities, and that the same should be applied to seniors needing long term care. The Council is asking the government to set the minimum ratio at one worker to every eight patients, with each resident receiving four hours of care per day.
If the calls for change are heeded, long term care facilities will be in need of higher staffing levels. For those interested in a career in health care, a field that is already essential may soon experience exponential growth.