With chants of “We will not be silenced”, hundreds of healthcare workers arrived in North Bay Monday to support one of their own. They protested at the North Bay Regional Health Centre which fired nurse Sue McIntyre for speaking out against workplace violence. One supporter was Amanda Farrell, an RPN at the long-term care home in Powassan. Farrell told the crowd, violence in the workplace is increasing and many times involves people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Farrell says nursing homes are not equipped well enough to deal with people with mental health issues as an inquest showed when two residents of the same home died in 2001.
Farrell says one patient who had been in the home for one day bludgeoned two patients to death and he was deemed cognitively impaired. For everyone’s safety, Farrell says it’s time for the Ministry of Health to act. She says the province must pass legislation giving nursing homes the right to refuse patients into their facilities if they are a danger to other patients. An arbitration hearing on McIntyre’s firing takes place March 17th.
(Written by: Rocco Frangione)