Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean: Another companion leaves the health network to maintain her health

Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean: Another companion leaves the health network to maintain her health

Another suggested that the beneficiaries leave the health network to preserve their physical and mental health.

• Also read: Nurses refuse to work at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital, the emergency room is partially closed

Although she loved her job, Alexandra Duperré had no choice but to quit after eight years working as a favored attendant for the CIUSSS du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in two CHSLDs in the area.

“It took me a year without pay to think about it, weigh the pros and cons. It wasn’t easy and it’s not a happy decision to leave. It’s a calling to be a companion, I still have the flame, it’s a beautiful job,” she told TVA Nouvelle.

But the job has changed over time. “Our patients’ illnesses are really getting worse, they’re getting harder and harder. Most often they are diagnosed with dementia or cognitive problems. It causes problems with physical or verbal aggression. To my credit, I’ve had two spinal cord sprains and I’m still suffering from the effects today. It often takes two stakeholders for one beneficiary, but we lack the resources,” noted Alexandra.

“During the day it’s usually 12 beneficiaries for two carers and due to staff shortages we can easily be 16 for two or even more depending on the shift. I used to give a lot for overtime, but up to what price?

In the end, patients pay the price.

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“It has already happened to us that we have to do without bathrooms. We had to do a partial toilet. During the nap, it’s easier to tip the chair with a blanket than to bring it back to bed. We want to provide quality care, but we have to hurry so much because we have high patient rates,” she lamented.

Alexandra further explains that sometimes the beneficiaries’ caregivers are the only people who see the beneficiaries during the day. Some have no family. Not being able to take enough time they deserve was the last straw for them.

“Things have to change”

Ms. Duperré isn’t the only one reluctant to give up her job as a caregiver.

“And there are a lot of people who stay in the industry and don’t have the guts to do it, but unfortunately that doesn’t allow them to thrive at work and that’s felt,” she said.

Even if other caregivers are hired soon, staff retention is a problem. And departures are likely to be even more numerous if nothing changes…

“I really wish the healthcare network would wake up. We treat the sick, but right now I think the health network is sick too. It’s all well and good to talk about, but things have to change. It has to move,” she said.

In her opinion, this goes beyond improving working conditions and developing staff.

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“To encourage its employees to work hard to grant furloughs. The employees have earned their vacation. There is no vacation, no vacation. You need time off for a doctor’s appointment, no mercy. There is no work-family balance, not at all,” said the former employee.

Alexandra plans to return to school after her maternity leave to study early childhood education.

“I do it for my family, for my physical and mental health. It’s not against my employer, on the contrary, they’ve really made me grow over the last eight years. I’m doing it for the healthcare system, but also for my colleagues who are there, for my patients,” she concluded.