Like you, I am deeply concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, and the many outbreaks occurring in health care facilities. The spread of COVID impacts you and your work in many different ways, and I know workload is increasing dramatically in many areas.
Even in this situation, I know all of you are doing everything in your power to keep your patients, yourselves and your colleagues safe and deliver the best care that you can. In turn, MNU is doing everything in our power to advocate for you. Your safety and health are our number one priority. We are holding employers and government to account on issues that members are bringing forward. In the media, we are advocating strongly for enhanced supports for nurses and urging the Pallister government to bolster resources in our health system, to get you the help you need as quickly as possible.
Regarding PPE, an important reminder: You have the right to determine the level of PPE required to care for patients based on your own professional judgement, using a Point-of-Care Risk Assessment. Upon request, employers are required to provide nurses treating COVID suspect or positive patients with a fit-tested N95 mask. This is the result of an MOA and Joint Statement that MNU signed with Shared Health in July.
• For more information, visit: https://manitobanurses.ca/message-to-members-ppe-settlement-announcement
• Shared Health resources on PPE, IPC and more can be found here: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/providers/
If you have any issue accessing appropriate PPE, are noticing any lapses in IPC or other protocols, or have other concerns related to health and safety or workload, please document the issue and contact your LRO or local/worksite president for support. If you are unsure who to contact, you can email email@example.com or call the MNU Provincial Office at 1-800-665-0043 or 204-942-1320.
Finally, MNU recommends that any member who has had exposure to a COVID positive patient or coworker submit a claim to the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB). Steps for filing a claim can be found here: https://manitobanurses.ca/documenting-exposure-covid-19
Thank you for your continued, extraordinary efforts during these unprecedented, challenging times.
Manitoba Nurses Union