By Judy Denniss, The StarPhoenix October 3, 2011
It always sparks my inter-est when Health Minister Don McMorris makes public statements.
He was recently reported saying Saskatchewan has passed regulations to expand the scope for nurse practitioners, and noted the government had addressed retention and recruitment issues for one health-care classification – registered nurses.
What he doesn’t tell the general public is this: The province has also passed regulations to expand the scope for licensed practical nurses, necessitating all LPNs to complete additional education requirements. If they don’t complete the education at personal cost by a given date, they are put on an administrative leave without pay.
Now after the LPNs have invested time and money to complete this education, we are experiencing LPNs being issued layoff notices within the Saskatoon Health Region. This does not make sense and does not cultivate any good faith with the employees.
As an LPN who has provided hands-on nursing care for many years, I suggest that it’s important to build a complete health-care team in all our communities across Saskatchewan.
Addressing retention and recruitment issues for only the RNs does not cut it. The minister needs to take a look at all of the other members of the team as well.
The health sector is chronically understaffed, whether it be the sterile processing worker, the continuing care aide, the mammography technologist, the laboratory technologist, the doctor, the specialist or the admitting clerk.
We all have important jobs, and ignoring the remainder of the team is not working.
Judy Denniss Saskatoon
Read as a PDF: Build health team