RPNAO works with government to have nurses included under PTSD legislation

When the Ontario government first introduced its new PTSD legislation in 2016, it did not cover nurses. We felt that omitting nurses from this legislation was a serious mistake. Our association, working in collaboration with other nursing stakeholders, moved quickly to engage with the government in order to advocate for expanding the legislation to include nurses. We are pleased that the government listened to our collective voices, and announced its plan to amend its legislation accordingly. We will be working closely with government in the process of revising this legislation. We thank our members and government representatives who worked with us and our nursing colleagues to ensure that Ontario's point-of-care nurses who suffer from PTSD will have access to the support they need. Below is our letter to Premier Wynne and our press release which we issued when the government announced that it plans to amend its legislation.


PRESS RELEASE

RPNAO applauds government's move to include nurses under PTSD legislation

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario

Dec 07, 2017, 08:30 ET

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) is applauding the Ontario Government's announcement that it plans to expand the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presumption to include nurses who provide direct patient care.

"We are very encouraged by the government's announcement that it will be drafting PTSD legislation that will include nurses," said Dianne Martin, Chief Executive Officer of RPNAO. "We're looking forward to the opportunity to review this draft legislation and to provide input and feedback to ensure that it provides registered practical nurses (RPNs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and registered nurses (RNs) who are suffering from PTDS with access to the support they need."

Regrettably, nursing remains one of the most dangerous professions in the province. Between 2008 and 2013, there were 760 violent assaults against nurses reported. During that same period, there were more than 4,000 violent assaults reported against nurses in all of Canada.

And in addition to the nurses who were impacted by these serious assaults, many more nurses are seriously affected by the disturbing, sometimes horrific things they witness or experience during the course of their day-to-day jobs.

For nurses, the implications can be particularly serious. Nurses who are struggling to deal with their mental illness on their own are more prone to suffer from burnout, work absences and leaving the profession altogether – not to mention the negative impacts on their own well-being, their relationships with their families and friends and their ability to do their jobs effectively.

"Ontario's RPNs are dedicated to their work and we view this pending legislation as an opportunity to provide some of these nurses with much-needed support and to allow them to live happier and healthier lives, which is also good news for the patients, clients and residents for whom they provide care," said Martin.

About RPNAO

Founded in 1958, RPNAO is the voice of registered practical nursing in Ontario. There are approximately 41,000 RPNs working in Ontario, playing a vital role in the province's health care system. For more information about RPNAO, its mandate and how RPNs contribute to Ontario's health care system, please visit rpnao.org.

SOURCE Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario