Nurses are continuing to work hard to care for the new patients relating to COVID-19, as well as all the existing and new patients unrelated to the deadly pandemic according to Nova Scotia Nurses Union president Janet Hazelton.
She's telling NEWS 95.7 she's hearing from their member nurses that it's a bit stressful dealing with all the reassignments, and changes happening now, especially if they have to work in a new location.
"I mean, we worked through SARS, and years ago with HIV, created a lot of angst in communities and in the world," says Hazelton. "We worked through that as well."
Hazelton goes on to say she doesn't believe nurses are afraid, but they do have some reasonable concerns and they are taking precautions.
"We have asked our employer that any nurse that feels uncomfortable testing for, or treating a COVID patient, if they are not comfortable with that that they be reassigned to a unit that would not require them to care for those patients," explains Hazelton. She adds nurses have always been working together to assign duties to the most appropriate staff member.
She says as the province continues grappling with this pandemic, there are a number of nurses coming out of retirement to help. Hazelton says those nurses need to be assessed by the Nova Scotia College of Nursing before they can come back to work in order to determine details of their skillset and when they retired.
"They [the College] are going to give them a licence and tell them what they can, and cannot do," says Hazelton. "It is not surprising, but it is appreciated that these nurses that have been retired, and not working are willing to come back and help out Nova Scotians during this pandemic."
Hazelton adds there are concerns about whether there is enough proper personal protective equipment to go around, given how the country is facing shortages, but she says Chief Medical Officer of Health Doctor Robert Strang told them they have made a significant order of equipment, and are waiting for it to arrive.