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Nurses finally included in mental injury presumption legislation

The BC Nurses’ Union says its a huge step forward for the health and well-being of nurses in the province.

This comes after the provincial government announced on Tuesday that nurses will finally be included in the list of occupations that have the presumption of workplace mental injury.

According to WorkSafeBC data collected in 2016, nurses accounted for nearly 12 per cent of all mental disorder claims and over 10 per cent of all claims registered for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2016, 76 nurses in the province registered claims for PTSD.

Christine Sorensen, President of the BC Nurses’ Union, told MyPGNow that the union has been advocating for nurses and asking the government to improve working conditions for nurses.

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“The more that we spoke to nurses, we recognized the need to include nurses in the PTSD presumptive legislation would give them earlier access to treatment, so they would become healthy and be able to go back to work.”

Sorensen adds that while nurses do run the risk of suffering from PTSD, many are also impacted by the on-going human suffering that they are being exposed to on a day-to-day basis.

“What I would like to see now is the working conditions and the safety of nurses is now a priority of the government,” said Sorensen. “It’s now very important to me that we now focus on preventing injuries, whether they’re physical or mental, and we focus on violence prevention and physiologically healthy and safe workplaces.”

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