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Manitoba Nurses Union involved about way forward for 24/7 sexual assault nursing program at HSC

Individuals who have been sexually assaulted aren’t receiving ample care as a result of the division tasked with treating them is understaffed and hasn’t but acquired funding promised by the province 9 months in the past, the Manitoba Nurses Union says.

Darlene Jackson, the president of the union, says a full-time provincial co-ordinator of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program hasn’t been employed, and there have not been any training alternatives to have the ability to practice new forensic nurses.

“This system has been held collectively by a small group of extraordinarily devoted nurses. At the moment SANE nurses cowl the telephones when nobody is scheduled, they might work as much as 24 hours in a row and lots of of them maintain a place elsewhere within the system, Jackson mentioned at a information convention Wednesday.

“With the gaps in scheduling, extraordinarily susceptible sufferers have been instructed to go house and wait, to do their greatest to protect the proof… That is outrageous.”

9 months in the past, in April 2022, the provincial authorities introduced it will spend $640,000 yearly to assist this system, rent 5 extra full-time nurses and a provincial co-ordinator to make sure nurses outdoors of Winnipeg are additionally skilled to supply the providers.

MNU president Darlene Jackson says it is unacceptable that some survivors of sexual assault have been instructed to come back again for care one other day as a result of the sexual assault nurse examiner program is at capability. (CBC)

The province mentioned on the time of the announcement it hoped to have the extra fulsome program up and operating by the top of 2022 or early 2023.

Jackson mentioned nurses with the SANE program met with Well being Minister Audrey Gordon in November to debate the significance of rapid motion. Final week in addition they despatched a letter to the minister asking for assist.

So far, that funding hasn’t materialized, she mentioned.

“It’s utterly unacceptable to permit this to proceed. We should do extra to guard these susceptible survivors and stop the few remaining nurses from leaving collectively,” Jackson mentioned.

5 nurses employed

A Shared Well being spokesperson mentioned in an e-mail that 5 of seven new everlasting forensic nurse examiner positions have now been crammed with the primary new workers anticipated to start their specialised coaching in early February.

Schooling necessities and really useful programming is in growth, the spokesperson mentioned. Two nurses from Thompson have acquired some in-person coaching at HSC Winnipeg as nicely.

Recruitment of a supervisor to supervise this system is underway and progressing nicely, the spokesperson mentioned.

The nurses who’re at present working in this system wrote in a letter to the well being minister that the job descriptions for individuals to hitch the SANE program did not deal with the very particular {qualifications} wanted, and as an alternative spoke of a basic obligation nurse that may float all through the hospital.

The job postings have been additionally for a Nurse 2, slightly than a Nurse 3, which is what the group was promised.

“This classification limits the nurse’s means to journey to different Winnipeg hospitals or neighborhood websites to satisfy sufferers the place they’re at and supply trauma-informed care. This isn’t proper,” the letter mentioned.

The letter says these nurses are new, and require as much as a 12 months of coaching earlier than they’re categorized as a forensic nurse.

NDP well being critic Uzoma Asagwara expressed considerations the shortage of accessible workers on the program may impede justice for assault survivors.

Jackson mentioned nurses have reported having to ship individuals house, to remain in the identical garments and to not bathe earlier than returning at a later date.

“That’s 100 per cent flawed and that ought to by no means ever occur,” Asagwara mentioned.

“Not solely does this make a traumatic expertise tougher for survivors, it makes it simpler for the assailant to get away with the crime. That is why health-care funding issues.”

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