The HEALTH CARE CONFERENCE REPORT, By Bev Pepin
Before the main conference started there was an Optional Workshop –Organizing in HEALTH CARE. the organizing team has a plan especially in Southern Ontario, in that they are trying to reach out to CLAC homes. Team is also doing Unit surveys to identify non-union pods, for new builds.
Sean Meagher, Director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare was the first speaker of the conference. Sean updated us on the lawsuit in BC. With Dr. Brian Day, who is suing the BC Government, .the trial began last September and is on a stay now until this coming September. Sean also discussed the need to defend MEDICARE, the need for a PHARMACARE. As Canadians we pay 30% more for our medications then other countries, he also mentioned how thankful they are to have strong relationships with Union like UNIFOR. Together we have a stronger voice which is being heard in the fight for better Healthcare for all. Websites for details of what is happening are the following: canadiandoctorsformedicare.ca and www.chealthcoalition.ca.
Shannon Devine who talked about the use of social media how we can use, Facebook, Twitter, U-tube, and the Unifor U-Tube channel. Shannon talked about how we can use the different social mediato get our messages out to people.
Mike McCarthy, Co-founder of Blood watch, who talked on the deadly risks of privatizing our Blood Collection services. How blood plasma is being sold to other countries. June 14, 2017 is World Blood Donor Day. For more information about Blood watch click on the following link. : www.bloodwatch.org
Adrienne Silnicki from the Canadian Health Coalition. Spoke to us about the threats to our universal public health system. She also mentioned the article that was on the front page of the Globe and Mail on Saturday .
On Saturday I attended two workshops
The Health Care Sector has the highest workplace violence incidents and highest of unreported incidents. We are told “it’s part of our job, get used to it” some are expected to take being hit, kicked, punched , grabbed, spit at ,therefore many do not report these incidents and they don’t like the paper work that is required when reporting incidents.
- discussed What Matters to us about our jobs—we want to be safe ,be able to come home at end of day, feel appreciated, have support/education/tools to be able to do our work.
- discussed What Frustrates us the most —lack of support and respect, working short ,constant OT, profit over people, inappropriate placement of residents
- discussed the importance of documentation to prove what is really happening in workplace, this will help show the MINISTRY so hopefully more $ for support, increase staffing , have a staffing to resident ratio and proper tools for us to complete our jobs safely.
- send message that VIOLENCE Is NOT PART OF THE JOB.
- “Right to Refuse “ —-when it is unsafe to self and to others… Union is working on legal guidelines/ how it is for HEALTHCARE ,,once all in place they will be sharing with all locals.
- discussed need to have strong language in our CBA about work place violence.
- final message is that we need to continue to challenge legislation for HEALTHCARE.
LONG TERM CARE WITH PAT ARMSTRONG
About 10 years ago Pat was actively working on a study which involved 27 homes , 6 countries. Looking at conditions of work, care. Part of this study they had a survey that went to many different homes, this same style of survey will be going out again very shortly so they can compare and see changes that have occurred and where we go from here with implementation of changes. We discussed what we have /need for following areas— STAFF SPACES- room for the lifts, proper medication rooms with good air quality, ergonomic correct area for documentation by all staff, possible movable carts with the computers for the PSWS , staff lounges what is needed in them so we can get rest when on breaks , placement of these rooms.
LOCATION -of the homes. Some saying near shopping as There are younger people coming into long term care settings there before,need to be close to hospitals, labs, close to transit for those coming to visit /workalso. ( there have been reports of building homes which are 15-45 minutes away from anything and then the it is hard for not only workers getting to their workplace but for visitors to come therefore residents feel isolated. )
- SIZE /SPACES- like posted ket doors for bathrooms in residents rooms so lifts can be brought into there safely for everyone and we can then toilet those on sling lifts safely., blinds built into the windows of safety, Privacy, cleaner. Having room to move around furniture.
- FEATURES—low counters so residents are able to see staff and talk with, impact absorbing floors – safety when resident falls, noise reduction, easier to clean. , need spacious dining rooms to be able to accommodate multiple broad, wheelchairs walkers etc.
- FOOD—nutritional food, prepare on site, kitchen on each unit, show residents food options at each meal. We touch on how much money is allocated by Government for us to feed our seniors.. as it is under 6$ a day . Now you try to have 3 meals and snacks on that and making sure they are nutritional.
- LOCKS/DOORS—-for the clean and dirty utility doors which have to be locked, suggested using a pass key so when near it will open instead of touching with hands better infection control.
- CLOTHES/LAUNDRY- Residents stating the clothes go to laundry but don’t come back, in laundry rooms having ergonomic tables for folding, size of carts used to decease heaviness, some have washers on units for residents personal clothing and everything else goes down and is washed in the industrial washers and dryers.
- CLEANING—have no carpets as this would decrease smell, easier and safer to push broda/wheelchairs/walkers. , zero scents, air quality, leather type chairs as easier to clean a decrease in smell, and having colour coded cloths to be used to clean different surfaces.
- DYING—having a Palliative room away from the busy part of the floor. With big bed , bed for family to stay over, chairs and own bathroom with shower, mini kitchenette so families can have food.
All of these suggestions will be taken in when new reports are made as to how we can all improve Long Term Care settings and with new buildings .
2 books that PAT Armstrong has worked on that can be down loaded.
- “Physical Environments for Long Term Care ideas worth sharing”
- “Promising Practices in Long Term Care ideas worth sharing”
The 3rd workshop people could chose was Mental Health and Stress, I was able to obtain some information as this was also an excellent workshop.
On the last day we heard from Lana Payne, Atlantic Director who talked about the recent experience in Nova Scotia around the regressive laws and cuts targeting health care and public sector workers. We also heard from Ken Lewenza, former CAW President. He spoke on importance of activists within the UNION, reports from the 3 workshops. He is very motivational speaker. It was an excellent way to end a very exciting conference,
Unit Chairperson for PLEASANT MANOR