Professional Responsibility Concern filings over the past two years at Leduc Community Hospital have resulted in replacement of a Health Care Aide with a Licensed Practical Nurse, enhancement of Unit Clerk coverage, and development of a process to support quality improvement and education in the facility’s Acute Care Units.
Members of United Nurses of Alberta Local 62, who filed more than 30 PRCs for the facility’s Unit 21/22/SCU since May 2016, report improving morale and better communication by managers as a result of the successful PRC process.
Members of the local reported that their concerns focused on an inappropriate skill mix on night shifts, being unable to find replacements to deal with short-notice sick calls, difficulty augmenting staff above baseline when required, and the need for additional charge nurse training. As a result, nurses often missed all breaks during many shifts and frequently felt patient care and staff safety were compromised.
Over the past two years, these issues were raised with local management through the PRC process, but resolution proved difficult. As a result, the local advanced its issues to the Alberta Health Services CEO.
As a result of a January 11 meeting with Deb Gordon, AHS Vice-President and Chief Health Operations Officer for Northern Alberta, who was named as the CEO’s designate, the employer agreed in a letter to:
- Replace the eight-hour night shift HCA with a 12-hr LPN
- Increase Unit Clerk coverage on the evening shift
- Create a working group including front-line UNA members to develop charge nurse orientation and consistency
- Provide education on HCA roles and delegation by RNs to the unit’s HCAs
Feedback from UNA members has been very positive, resulting in improved morale, the local says.