Niagara hospitals dealing with increasingly ‘disrespectful’ people as bed numbers increase

By Don Redmond

Published April 20, 2022 at 10:26 am

As hospital numbers in Niagara have climbed to 90 COVID-19 inpatients over the course of a couple of weeks, staffers are finding they are also increasingly dealing with a secondary problem.

“Our staff and physicians are experiencing an increased number of disrespectful behaviors directed towards them. Every member of our community has been impacted by the pandemic,” Niagara Health said in a release.

“People are exhausted and discouraged, and this includes our staff and physicians who continue to provide care for those in need.”

At this point, the hospital staff need more compassion than ever, Niagara Health said. “With these latest pressures on the healthcare system, including in our Emergency Departments, now more than ever, our staff and physicians need our community’s support and kindness and to work in an environment where they are safe and respected.”

“Just as the Niagara community has pulled together and supported each other over the last two years, we look forward to bringing an end to this pandemic and moving towards recovery together.”

Since last Thursday (April 14), seven more people in the region’s hospital have died, putting even more stress on staff and families.

The health unit said current situation is a bleak picture. “Our teams are currently managing eight outbreaks at our Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland sites and in our Extended Care Unit (ECU) at the Welland Site.”

In addition, they noted 372 Niagara Health staff and physicians are currently self-isolating.

Niagara Health asks anyone coming to the hospital to visit a loved one should note the following:

  1. Our visitor guidelines changed last week to maintain a safe environment for patients, families, staff and physicians. One visitor or Essential Care Partner is permitted at the bedside for inpatient units. Patients coming to same-day appointments, the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centers can bring one person to support them.
  2. Anyone entering the hospital must pass COVID-19 screening.
  3. Face masks must be worn at all times in the hospital. Food and drink are not permitted in patient rooms.
  4. Visitors and Essential Care Partners are not permitted in units that are in outbreak or if a patient is in isolation due to COVID-19. Check with the patient’s unit ahead of your visit to see if your loved one can have a visitor or if an exception should be considered.

If Niagara Health were to add a number 5, it would likely be, please leave tempers and ill-will at the front door before coming into the very institutions trying to heal.

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