Burnout causing nurses to leave profession: hospital rep

A registered nurse at the Ottawa Hospital said Ontario’s nursing shortage is getting worse as many in the profession continue to suffer from burnout. 

Rachel Muir, who is also the local bargaining unit president for the Ontario Nurses Association, told The Sam Laprade Show with guest host Derick Fage that nurses getting burnt out was a problem before COVID-19, and became much worse since the onset of the pandemic. 

“As a frontline worker, you see things that people can’t imagine,” she said. “After COVID hit, the rise was exceptional and people are leaving the profession. They just can’t do it anymore.”

Muir said that across Ontario, the nursing shortage is roughly 30,000 and in Ottawa, official estimates reveal the capital is short by about 2,200 nurses. But Muir said the number in Ottawa is much larger. 

“We do think that 2,200 is closer to 3,000 now,” she added. 

Muir said that Bill 124 has had a profound impact on the nursing profession, adding to the burnout many are suffering. 

Muir said several recommendations to help the people in the profession include providing the mental health resources they need and giving individuals incentives to work in the field. 

“You need time off, and you need to get away from work,” she said. “I have nurses with years worth of vacation and it’s less likely they will get a chance to go on vacation because we just don’t have the people.”

Listen to the full interview with Rachel Muir below: