Alberta nurses leaving front-line healthcare for less stressful units, jobs

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Nursing has always been an in-demand career, and that was never more true than in the past two and a half years during the COVID-19 pandemic and fallout.

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“I’ve been in nursing for almost 20 years, but I’ve worked in the health care profession since the ’80s,” said Alberta nurse Renee. “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse.

“I didn’t realize it for several months, as you got too busy with day-to-day work and just doing tasks, but eventually, the stress affected my health to the point where I had to seek medical attention. Fell,” she said.


Granthshala News agreed to use a pseudonym to protect Renee from potential job repercussions.

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In the past, Renee worked in Medicine, Day Medical, Palliative and Family Medicine. Just before the pandemic, he had taken a leadership position in infection control at the long-term care facility.

“It was when I started noticing the deterioration of my own physical health that I knew I couldn’t keep up.

“When I look back and try to describe what it was like working, the two words that come to mind are: everlasting pain.

“Going to work everyday with: ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get through today, I don’t know what we’re going to face today, individually and as a team,’ – this work To go over it was like dragging a big, heavy ball over your foot.

“But you did. You had to. You had patients whose lives were affected… The staff needed us there too.”

In the spring of 2020, the challenges of nursing – the stress, the tough schedules, the staffing challenges, the long hours, the high stakes, the difficult decisions, the personal health risks, the mental health drain – came to an end.

The stress of front-line hospital nursing – serious illness and death, emotional family and loved ones, managing differing opinions, administrative red tape and getting everyone home – escalated exponentially.

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Protests — some even outside hospitals — and political rhetoric and polarization only made things worse, several Alberta nurses told Granthshala News.

Renee quit her job in long-term care and took a community nursing position at Primary Care Network (PCN).

“I wanted to get back with patients and feel like I was making a difference,” she explained. “I really enjoy what I am doing again. Once you get out into the community and find other positions related to your profession, there can be a lot of autonomy. If you taste it, it can be very powerful, very beneficial.

For Registered Nurse Ali RyanThe pandemic situation was the final push it needed to make a difference.

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“I just wanted to come home and not be so mentally exhausted.

“I love nursing. I love the fact that we can empower our patients with knowledge and ease their suffering and help them, but in the same token, I wanted to do something more creative. And wanted to do something less intense all the time. Mentally, it was the right time.

After working in neurosurgery and then recovery, Ryan finally decided to enroll in a medical esthetics course.

“It was something I’d thought about for a long time. I’ve always been a very creative person and then with the pandemic – and seeing everyone at their wit’s end and being burnt out – I felt I had to It’s got extra incentive to say: ‘Okay, it’s time for a change.’

He now works in aestheticsProviding cosmetic injections while still doing casual makeovers in the hospital.

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“I love the hospital. I love my colleagues. I love the nature of the work.

“I just think mentally, I have to take care of my health and I don’t just have to be ‘Nurse Ali’, but be a mother and a good friend and a good family member. And if I want to do all that I need boundaries and I think that’s okay.

Ryan says her work hours are better now, which allows her to spend more time with her two young children and gives her a greater work-life balance.

“You can’t provide good care if you’re hating what you’re doing. We’re fortunate as nurses to be able to move around and I think we need to keep our eyes open for those opportunities.” needed.

The work is also more positive, she says.

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“There’s nothing better than having that conversation with people where they go: ‘Oh, I love this,’ and keep going. That’s the joy of nursing: You can work in so many different capacities.”

Schools and companies offering courses in cosmetic injectables have seen a huge increase in enrollment in the past two years. Frida Academy in Calgary sees its highest ever enrollment in 2021, more than double the year before. A spokesperson told Granthshala News that it had to add courses to meet demand.

Renee and Ryan aren’t the only two to have skipped the front lines; The union that represents Alberta nurses is seeing a definite trend.

“It is a common thing that…


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