End The Shortages
"Recently, I had 10 ventilated patients to myself in the ICU. This is double the amount I feel comfortable with. Something needs to change."
ANDREA, RESPIRATORY THERAPIST
"We were told we are heroes, yet we are completely undervalued. We lack resources and support."
BRITTNEY, RADIOLOGICAL TECHNOLOGIST
"Most mornings it takes everything in me to not cry and make myself get out of my car to go into the hospital for work instead of just starting my car back up and going home and quitting. I love my job but not under these conditions."
JENNIFER, CARDIOLOGY TECHNOLOGIST
There's no health care without specialized health care professionals
Everyone knows doctors and nurses are in dire shortage in today's strained health care system. But most people don't know that over 70 other specialized health professions are part of the health care team keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Shortages of these professionals have been severe for years. Long hours and crushing workloads have become unhealthy and unsustainable.
As the union representing these essential health care professionals delivering diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, we're urging the government to expand efforts to train, recruit and retain lab technologists, MRI and x-ray technologists, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, radiation therapists, social workers, dietitians and many other specialized health professionals.
We need more investment in incentives for recruitment and retention
Recently-negotiated pay increases are a big help, but we also need to:
- Expand existing incentive programs to include health science professionals
- Offer tuition bursaries and paid practicums for shortage health science professions with a return-of-service commitment to public-sector employment
- Create incentives to encourage health science professionals in the private sector to return to the public system
- Offer travel and relocation expense reimbursements (as many vacancies are in rural and remote communities); and housing stipends.
"I fear I won't have enough time to give this patient the best recovery possible before they must be sent home to make room for another patient on a long waitlist from acute. Sometimes I go home and have a cry about the systemic pressures."
JAQUELINE, OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
"Everyone is tired. Everyone is burnt out. There were staff shortages before, but it's worse now."
"I am so grateful for the health science professionals of HSA. I can only imagine how exhausted you all are during these more than challenging times, both mentally and physically, and still you all continue provide health care beyond excellence. I needed that care recently when I was a COVID patient in the ICU at Royal Columbian Hospital, and you all took such great care of me. Respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and so many more! How do you thank someone for saving your life? I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for you and I just don't know how it's possible to thank you for all you do."
LAURA-LYNNE, COVID-19 PATIENT