stories from the front lines title image

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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

Title image for briefing April 20 - COVID in the House: Protect Your Loved Ones
Wednesday, April 27th from 12:00-1:00 PDT What should you do if someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19? How do we prevent it from passing to loved ones in the household? Why should we care? Data is emerging that, due to variant mutations, COVID-19 reinfections are happening, even in highly-vaccinated countries. For that reason,… Continue reading COVID-19 in the House: How to Protect Your Loved Ones
Title image for Briefing 14 April 7, 2022 - COVID Doesn't Take Breaks, Neither Can We
Thursday, April 7 at 12:00 noon PDT Ignoring the 6th wave won’t stop it. What does the evidence say? Join Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, Dr. Brenda Hardie, and Gosia Gasperowicz, PhD, as they discuss what BC needs to do to lower community transmission as the most infectious strain of COVID ever becomes dominant across the globe.… Continue reading COVID-19 Doesn’t Take Breaks. Neither Can We.
Title image for Briefing 13: Ethics in Canada, March 23, 2022
Wednesday, March 23rd, 12:30-1:30 pm PT Join Canadian researcher and author Jon Parsons in a discussion with Protect our Province BC member Dr. Amy Tan about how Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic amounts to a failure of ethical action.  The pandemic has brought issues with Canada’s governing systems and cultural identity into full view:… Continue reading Lack of Ethics: How Canada is Failing with COVID-19

More News from Protect Our Province BC

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Protect Our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC and BC School COVID Tracker are coming together to ask for mask protection in indoor public spaces, businesses, schools and on public transit in BC. The removal of BC’s mandated health protections has us concerned for the health and well-being of all British Columbians. “Now that masking… Continue reading Protect Our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC and BC School COVID Tracker Issue Joint Press Release
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On March 11th, the British Columbia Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry lifted the indoor mask mandate for most public places, with the main exception being healthcare settings.  TransLink immediately followed suit and lifted its own mask requirement, leaving commuters on  buses and trains with very few COVID-19 precautions. Unlike BC, Ontario and Quebec have… Continue reading Transit Users Ask Translink to Keep Mask Protections in Place.
Title image for blog April 2 - N95 masks and transmission
Share this: April 2, 2022  A Guest Post by Tim Henthorne, B.A.Sc., P. Eng Over the past two years, we have been flooded with opinions regarding the wearing of masks, all while trying to learn how to deal with the existential threat of COVID-19. Unfortunately, much confusion has come from Public Health itself with its… Continue reading N95 Masks & the Transmission of COVID-19