Quebec's elderly care workers are facing a mental health crisis.
Over half of the province's nurse orderlies want to quit their jobs, according to a new survey by the Federation of Health and Social Services union that represents the workers.
Their research showed that 80 percent of the 8,000+ respondents have been experiencing psychological distress over the past year.
"You want to care for those patients," said Frederique Savard, an orderly. "You love them. You do this because you love what you do. You love the patients and you cannot do everything you should be doing."
The responses indicated the following:
-Over 40 percent had mandatory overtime in the past 12 months
-Nearly 30 percent alleged that they were threatened with discipline if they refused overtime
-Over 75 percent felt that they didn't have enough time to give their patients proper baths
-Over 80 percent noted that they experienced extreme physical and mental fatigue after their shifts
"When an orderly goes at the end of the day and knows that there were three baths that they should have given because the person hasn't had a bath for a week...that puts stress on the orderly," said Jeff Begley of the Federation of Health and Social Services.
Begley also addressed concerns that orderlies are often not included in meetings and lack important patient information.
"You arrive, you don't know the patients, so you call upon your colleague, the other orderly who is already in an overload case," he said.
In a phone conversation with CTV News, a representative from Quebec's health ministry said that they're aware of the situation and that they are in the process of hiring more full-time employees.