Victoria nurses say they are being being forced to work overtime with overflow of patients


The B.C's Nurses' Union says Island Health has taken steps to improve conditions at Victoria hospitals but they are still being stretched thin.  

Co-chair for the union Margot Wilton says it's a significant overcapacity situation.

“Island Health is opening up a new unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital to help with this but every unit in the acute care has a number of over capacity patients.”

As of Monday, Wilton says they are holding at least 21 admitted patients in the Royal Jubilee Hospital Emergency.

“It’s very challenging for the nurses at this moment when we have patients literally in the hallways. We had communications with one of the units where patients where in the dining room and in the closet apparently.”

Co-chair Lynnda Smith says nurses are being called into work extra shifts and overtime to deal with the number of patients at both Victoria General and Royal Jubilee.

“Some of our nurses are being forced to stay overtime,” says Smith. "We have gotten call from nurses over the weekend saying that they have had to stay 18 hours at a time and then being scheduled to work eight hours later and being told they must come in for that shift as well.”

Smith added that there is a shortage of nurses in the province and it’s difficult for the nurses on the site to say no with the large overfull of patients.

Both chairs say they want health authorities across the province to have a plan for this expected busy time of the year.  


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