HEU’s nursing team: working miracles everyday

Union celebrates National Nursing Week May 12 – 18

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In every part of the province, HEU nursing team members are marking this year’s nursing week with events that honour the crucial role our licensed practical nurses and care aides play in delivering quality care to British Columbians.

This year, there’s even more reason to celebrate.

Important gains made in the 2006 round of policy discussions are coming to fruition. One of the most promising is an ongoing strategic examination of how managers can better support and utilize our nursing team members.

The first report from the joint policy committee – which includes representatives from health unions, the Ministry of Health and the Health Employers Association of B.C. – recognizes the extent to which our health system relies on the skills LPNs and care aides bring to the care team. And it points the way to successful practices that support their expanded utilization at the work site.

The report’s recommendations call for more professional development, leadership, and collaborative practice opportunities, as well as mechanisms to share best practices and “change management” successes.

“The report makes it very clear that optimal utilization of LPNs and care aides is absolutely necessary to the province’s ability to provide patients and residents with quality care,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy. “And it shows how to initiate and make change happen in a way that ensures the best possible outcomes for patients and everyone on the care team.”

As a follow-up to this first report, the province’s Chief Nursing Officers will be encouraging others in their health authorities to collect and share information on new initiatives and best practices. And the joint planning committee will begin preparations for a second report to be issued in December 2009 that will track and evaluate the progress made by each health authority in implementing the report’s recommendations.