BC Children’s Hospital is experiencing its first shortage of operating room nurses in its history.
The temporary closure of two operating rooms means more than 50 “elective” pediatric surgeries have been postponed.
Chief Operating Officer Linda Lemke says it’s new territory.
“In our history BC Children’s Hospital has actual never had an OR shortage and so this popped in mid-March where a few unfortunate circumstances came forward.”
She adds the hospital is looking to recruit trained nurses to re-open the operating rooms as soon as possible.
“If we need to train, and we already have ten people signed up and interested in our OR training program here, that’ll take a little bit longer. It takes four to six months to train an OR nurse.”
But President of the BC Nurses Union Gayle Duteil says the problem was recognized last year.
“We’ve been talking with PHSA and the Ministry of Health since March of 2015 regarding the excessive number of vacancies at Children’s and Women’s hospital. This is not an overnight problem and it certainly will not be an overnight solution.”
Duteil adds tomorrow is the last day the BCNU’s 40,000 members can vote to ratify a five-year tentative deal with province.
It includes the doubling of seats for specialty education training.
No emergency surgeries will be impacted.