Originally appeared in the Standard-Freeholder on Saturday, December 18, 2021
By Jeanette Despatie
intent of this monthly column has been to “pull the curtain back” and keep our
local residents up-to-date on behind-the-scenes operations, innovations, and pandemic
response measures at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH).
though, behind the scenes can be unpleasant. This month I’m making the
difficult but necessary decision of pulling the curtain back to talk about increased
instances of abuse being endured by our staff and physicians.
often our staff and physicians are confronted with anger and inappropriate
abusive behaviours, and more so than ever as verbal and physical abuse by
patients and families is on the rise.
are being called names, yelled at, and have been physically assaulted.
response, our hospital’s security guards are now required to do rounds in our
Emergency Department approximately four times as often as before. These rounds
are periodically required on inpatient units as well.
hospital has been operating at well over capacity these past number of months
and the Emergency Department has been very busy. Our frontline workers really
are exhausted and doing their best.
recognize that wait times can be long, you are likely anxious, and that our
COVID-19 protocols and restrictions are frustrating; however, we insist that
our staff and physicians are treated respectfully.
context, we have seen 6,000 more inpatient days in our hospital as compared to
last year (that’s approximately 36,000 more hours of nursing care required). We
are also on track for 8,000 more Emergency Department visits as compared to
last year (a 20% increase). The same trends are also being observed in a variety
of our day clinics.
throughout Ontario including CCH are also dealing with a human resource
shortage, which means our staff and physicians are working more hours to address
remember that Emergency Department wait times are always fluctuating, and this
is because patients arriving at the Emergency Department are triaged based on
the acuity of their medical condition. The sickest people are always seen
have infection control measures in place for COVID-19. As frustrating as they
may be, they must be followed. Please do not take your frustrations out on our
staff and entrance screeners. Like other hospitals, our infection control
measures are more excessive than those in place at restaurants, gyms or grocery
stores because we are treating vulnerable patients.
also commit to following up on patient concerns. We acknowledge that you may
have concerns with the care you are receiving while at CCH; please respectfully
talk to someone on your care team and we’ll do our best to resolve any issues
during your stay.
can also fill out our online feedback form, which we monitor daily and respond
to all comments received: www.cornwallhospital.ca/en/Contact. This allows us to conduct proper follow-up,
and I also know our staff and physicians would appreciate hearing your feedback
through direct, formal channels rather than through other sources.
are all tired, but our frontline workers should not have to bear the brunt. This
holiday season, please help spread kindness.
behalf of CCH, I wish our community a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a
safe and healthy New Year.
Send an eCard
Patient and Family Advisory Committee
Mental Health Crisis Line
1-866-996-0991 (16 yrs +)