‘Much more’ needs to be done, researcher says

Nurses want more training and social supports put in place so they’ll be ready to deal with future emergencies, such as disasters or a pandemic, a new report says.

The report, entitled Caring For Nurses In Public Health Emergencies, was put together over three and a half years. A similar picture emerged from coast to coast, according to lead researcher Carol Amaratunga, chair of the Women’s Health Research Unit at the University of Ottawa.

“Nurses told us that much more needs to be done in terms of providing human resource support and social support to really help them to be prepared and trained to deal with emergencies, and also, importantly, to help them balance their work and family life,” she said.


Ninety per cent of the nurses in Canada are women and many have families, she said. If they’re put into quarantine during an infectious disease outbreak, as many were during the SARS emergency of 2003 in Toronto, they will face tremendous stress trying to balance with their home responsibilities, she said.

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