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Stories from BC’s Hospital Front Lines – The Missing Voices

Briefing #4 Friday 19  November, Noon

Amid the crisis that has arrived with the extreme weather event, the floods and mudslides caused by the “atmospheric river”, BC’s hospitals have been described as “in crisis” too, by front line doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers. Protect Our Province BC set out to hear their stories, to find out how health care workers are doing while shouldering the burden of the pandemic, and what they suggest that both the public and BC authorities do to help support them.

In the context of the wider emergency that the province is reeling from, it is important that our hospitals have the capacity to take on the extra challenges that climate emergencies have on our communities. Unfortunately, that is not present, POP BC has discovered.

To report on its findings, “Protect Our Province BC” (protectBC.ca)  will host its fourth live briefing on Friday, November 19th, at  12 pm (noon).  URLs for public access to the briefing (and for special press-only access to ask questions) are provided below. 

Using a web-form that allowed health care professionals in BC hospitals to recount their professional and personal experiences providing care in the pandemic, Protect our Province BC collected over 200 anonymous responses. There were a wide variety of professions represented, from nurses, care aids, unit clerks, physicians, and laboratory technicians.  

This image is a first attempt at summarizing those 200 replies. Dominant themes identified here include  moral and professional distress, anxiety and the lasting emotional harm experienced by these health care professionals in our hospitals. 

Health Workers Wordle
Health Workers Wordle

Our fourth briefing will allow you to hear firsthand from some of these voices. What has their experience been with caring for patients during this ordeal?  

Our guests include Dr. David Forrest, Dr. Jeffrey Eppler,  Sarah (RN, pseudonym)  and Dr. Brenda Hardie (family physician and moderator).  We will intersperse interviews with these clinicians and some of the responses we obtained from our web form. Dr. Forrest is an Intensive Care Physician in Nanaimo, and Dr.  Eppler is an Emergency  Physician in Kelowna. Sarah is a nurse from a BC health authority who needs anonymity to ensure her forthrightness is not used against her.  Dr. Brenda Hardie is a Family Physician in Vancouver. 

For direct access to first-hand quotes and stories from all of the submissions to our webform by BC hospital workers, please visit our website here: https://protectbc.ca/stories-from-bcs-hospital-front-lines-the-missing-voices/

Facilitator: Dr Brenda Hardie, Family Physician, Vancouver

Speakers:

  • Dr. David Forrest, ICU Physician, Nanaimo
  • Dr. Jeffrey Eppler,  ER Physician in Kelowna
  • Sarah (RN, pseudonym) a nurse providing clinical care in a BC Health Authority

Protect Our Province BC is a grassroots group of physicians, nurses, health scientists, health policy specialists and community advocates. We are working together to help people in BC stay safe by sharing accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic in BC, and advocating for evidence-based policies. Our ultimate goal is to end this pandemic through a vaccines-plus strategy that includes ventilation, better masks, and improved testing and contact tracing.

Subsequent briefings will be scheduled with dates to be announced. Briefings will include both analysis on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC and expert presentations on a variety of pandemic-related topics.

Archived Briefings from Protect Our Province BC

In honor of February being Heart Month, cardiologist Dr. Leslie Kasza joined Protect our Province BC’s Dr. Susan Kuo for a discussion on COVID-19’s impact on heart health and how you can reduce your risk. Don’t be fooled into thinking it won’t happen to you because you are _________, fill in the blank: young, healthy vaccinated and/or you only had a mild infection, etc.
A Protect Our Province BC panel discussion about how we as a community, can pull together to create a safer learning environment for kids when school starts again in September! We can avoid another ‘tripledemic’ if we work together! Ready for Fall 2023? Briefing video:
“COVID-19 vaccination is safe during pregnancy and may protect newborns from infection, especially if vaccines are given in the second or third trimester. This is similar to what we are already doing with other maternal vaccines, including TDaP and seasonal influenza.” – Dr. Eastabrook

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