ONA Celebrates Win for Front-Line Nurses: Government announces nurses to be covered under PTSD presumptive legislation

December 6, 2017

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is celebrating an announcement by the provincial government that nurses will be included in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) legislation.

“We are ecstatic that the government has decided to do the right thing and include front-line nurses in the presumptive legislation,” said ONA Provincial President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “ONA has always known that nurses are in every way first responders and vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a great day for nurses who work so hard to provide quality patient care.”

ONA has been “getting loud” about the omission of nurses from the legislation since it was passed in 2016. Most recently, members participated in an on-line campaign, emailing more than 1,000 letters to their MPPs, the Health Minister and Premier calling for nurses to be included.

“Nurses do suffer from PTSD due to their workplace experiences,” notes Haslam-Stroud. “The top-five triggers for PTSD in nurses are:

-Death of a child, particularly due to abuse.
-Violence at work.
-Treating patients that resemble family or friends.
-Death or injury of patients.
-Heavy patient workloads.

ONA is currently holding its Biennial Convention at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, where Health Minister Eric Hoskins made the announcement to the cheers of the approximately 1,000 front-line nurses and health-care professionals. “This is a wonderful development and a great way to end my tenure as the elected Provincial President of ONA,” said Haslam-Stroud. “Our incoming President, Vicki McKenna, RN, will be working with the government to implement the legislation in a timely manner.”

ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

For more information:
Sheree Bond: (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; shereeb@ona.org