‘Almost soul-breaking’: Health workers respond to planned protests at Ottawa Hospital

‘Almost soul-breaking’: Health workers respond to planned protests at Ottawa Hospital

OTTAWA-After three waves of COVID-19, hospital workers say the number of patients is not the only contributor to a growing sense of burnout.

“It’s hard not to feel a little defeated after a year and a half we’ve been through. It gets a little frustrating when people get sick of something more preventable than it was in the first wave, ”Alison MacIvor, an ICU nurse at Civic

MacIvor says dealing with anti-vaccine feelings becomes tedious for healthcare professionals.

“A lot of people have expressed their distress to people who deny what’s going on and it’s like you have a patient in bed who is sick with COVID and they still deny it. It is difficult not to get angry and get frustrated with them and still take good care of them as we know we will, ”she added.

Protests are planned in front of hospitals across the country on Monday.

The group allegedly organizes the protests, Canadian Frontline Nurses, posted notices on social media calling for peaceful protests against mandatory vaccines for health professionals.

MacIvor says it is particularly demoralizing to see other health workers organizing these demonstrations.

“A lot of people are really frustrated about it, especially when it’s health professionals who deny what’s going on, especially when they tell us what we’ve seen and what we’ve experienced is not true,” she noted.

Vikki Leung, a Toronto-based emergency room nurse, has launched a petition calling for the creation of safe zones around hospitals; block the protesters and ensure unlimited access to healthcare for patients.

“If you want to protest, go outside Queen’s Park. You are trying to make a political statement; do not harm people while doing so. It’s so much moral distress and harm to health professionals, and it’s just insecure from a health perspective, ”Leung said.

Leung, who is currently on maternity leave, says that after working through the first three waves of COVID-19, she has been quite upset by the fervor directed at some health workers.

“It is almost soul-breaking; I have definitely cried over it a few times. When I heard about what my colleagues were going through, someone told me that they were assaulted just by driving to work by a protester who was anti-vaccine, ”Leung said.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted in opposition to the planned protests, saying “our heroes in health do not deserve to be intimidated.”

“On a systemic level, I want something to be done about this, educating these people, getting vaccinated and not hampering others’ access to health care, and certainly not harassing or bullying health care providers who are just trying to provide care and just take care of each other. in the safest way, ”Leung said.

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