Nurses seek enhanced ER care

Nurses believe progress is being made on overcrowding at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Nurses believe progress is being made on overcrowding at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Representatives from the B.C. Nurses Union met recently with the Interior Health Authority to discuss conditions in the emergency department.

“The BCNU was pleasantly surprised that IHA listened to concerns about patient safety and overcrowding,” said Christine Sorensen, regional chairperson.

“We came away cautiously optimistic that we have been heard.”

Among the initiatives that have been launched are increased space, additional nursing staff and a manager to deal with immediate issues in the emergency room.

Sorensen’s only complaint is over what she sees as a lack of communication by IHA.

“The public and some of our own nurses on the frontline are not aware of these changes,” she said.

Sorensen believes the recent improvements are transitional until the new patient care tower opens in the fall.

“There will be issues with the new building but if we can establish good communications now, there is the potential for a really good ER department in Vernon,” she said.

“But we have to start working on it right now.”