Nursing Experts Called in to Investigate Registered Nurses’ Concerns About Staffing Levels, Care Quality at one of Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s General Site Medicine Units
November 20, 2023
KINGSTON, ON., November 20, 2023 – Registered nurses (RNs) at one of the medicine units at the General site of Kingston Health Sciences Centre have called in an independent panel of nursing experts to investigate their concerns about RN staffing levels and the impact on safe, quality patient care on the hospital’s medicine unit.
“Our highly skilled RNs are extremely concerned about the care their vulnerable patients have access to on this unit,” says ONA President Erin Ariss, RN. “The nursing experts will hear evidence from the RNs on this unit on the negative impact on patient care that inadequate RN staffing is having. As nurses, we are patient advocates and it is vital that we speak out on behalf of our patients; having tried to resolve the issue with the employer first, we have been left with the last-resort option of calling in the Independent Assessment Committee (IAC) to help determine whether our nurses are being assigned more work than is consistent with the provision of proper patient care.”
An IAC is comprised of three RN experts who examine professional responsibility and assess workload issues. The hearing begins today and is aimed at ensuring these patients receive the quality of specialized nursing care they need. ONA and its members on this unit believe the current work environment fails to support the delivery of quality, safe patient care and puts these vulnerable patients at risk of serious harm.
“The issues being raised at the hearing have been escalating since prior to the pandemic,” says Ariss. “Without adequate solutions and regard for nurses and staff, and especially for patients and their families, they will continue to escalate. We simply must resolve them for the well-being of all.”
ONA is the union representing 68,000 ONA registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.