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Week of December, 28

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Health-care facilities must do more to prevent workplace violence

Sir: I am reading with great interest a publicly accessible Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions study entitled “Enough is Enough: Putting a Stop to Violence in the Health Care Sector.”

You can find it at

It states the number of violence-related lost time claims from front-line health care employees has shot up by nearly two thirds since 2007 – three times the rates of increase in similar claims from police officers and corrections officers combined.

The abuse and assaults in Ontario cost taxpayers $23.8 million a year.

The report tells the story of an Ontario patient that grabbed a nurse and locked them both in a visitor’s room. He threatened to rape and kill her and beat her beyond recognition. The nurse thought she was going to die.

A co-worker broke in and saved her life. This nurse will never return to work. This bears repeating—the nurse will never return to work.

The study says understaffing, inappropriate staffing, a lack of security and growing patient population, as well as a rise in patient acuity and complexity, all contribute to an erosion of safety for patients and nurses.

Violence in workplaces impacts both patient and nurse. It erodes the quality of care and impacts health outcomes.

Consequences of violence may include PTSD, decreased job satisfaction and increased intent to leave an organization. CBC’s 2013 Fifth Estate program, in its national survey of more than 4,500 Registered Nurses in over 250 hospitals, found nearly 40% of nurses suffered high levels of burnout.

The prevalence of major depression in Canadian nurses is double the national average for all working women.

Managers, management and CEO’s of mental health facilities need to wake up, step up, and start protecting the patients they treat and the nurses they employ.

Safe staffing levels and zero tolerance for violence will improve patient outcomes and decrease staff absenteeism, resulting in organizational benefit.

Please demand a culture of safety for the patient and the nurse before it is too late. Don’t wait for another Lori Dupont tragedy!

G.C. Lester


The electorate may not know it, but their MP is a poet

Editor’s Note: Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu captured headlines recently for reciting a poem in the House of Commons in which she opposed legal marijuana.

That verse wasn’t her first dance with the muse, however. Gladu delivered this limerick in the House on Oct. 28, 2016.

Madam Speaker:

There once was a palliative care bill
For those who were terminally ill
It determined the plan,
For Canada and
The services it would fulfill.

It talked about training for all
Who provide care for those big and small
The data we need
For the research we lead
To ensure that we’re right on the ball.

The elements of palliative care
At home, hospice, and everywhere
Will be standard we boast
In this land coast to coast
With the specialists needed so rare.

The Minister of Health has implied
That three billion be applied
To home and palliative care
So that people will dare
To live well long before they have died.

So support C-277 today
My PMB’s coming your way
In November 3rd week
Your approval I’ll seek
And together we will save the day.

For Canadians want to have choice
To live or to die, give them voice
And we’ll humanely give
A good way they can live
And end their days full of great joys.

Trudeau government putting freedoms at risk

Sir: Are we headed for the mind control of Communism or Nazism, where the government dictates what their citizens must think?

The Trudeau government recently declared that if employers don’t support in writing LGBT, abortion, and transgender views, the federal government will deny them student summer job funding.

This reminds one of Stalin and Hitler’s governments in their attempts to control what people think.

If, like me, you don’t want to live in a repressive state, please go to the following website and sign the online petition.

Keith Patrick


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