Beverly Panghulan has been a licensed practical nurse for 15 years. She currently works in a surgery short-stay unit and has previously been a float nurse at a Vancouver hospital.
Beverly says “extremely heavy” workloads can make it difficult to give patients the care they need.
“The more patients you have, the less you can care for them,” she says. “If I have six patients, from one hall down to the other end of the hall, call bells ringing off, they want their pain meds, they’re nauseated, they need to go to the bathroom, like how can I split myself into all these patients’ rooms?”
The answer is simple. You can’t.
Beverly has since moved to a different unit, where she says workloads are more reasonable and working conditions allow her to give patients the care she aspires to.
“You come into this profession thinking you are there to care for the people around you,” she says. “I want it to be as if you’re caring for your mom or your grandparents. I give that same care to everybody, no matter what colour they are, what religion they have.”
The difference between a well-staffed workplace and an over-stretched one is clear to Beverly – the amount of time nurses can give their patients. The solution, too, is clear: “More nurses.”