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LETTER: Six minutes not much time

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network


In our long-term care facilities today, the nursing assistants have approximately six minutes per resident every morning. This not only presents problems for staffing but also with residents and their families.

The main problem here is staffing. When these facilities are understaffed, this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the current staff to complete all daily tasks. The biggest task: getting each resident ready for their day.

The average nursing assistant has approximately six minutes to get each resident awake, out of bed, toileted, showered, dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, and down to the dining hall for breakfast. Also included in this time is helping with or placing of dentures and/ or hearing aids.

The average person cannot get out of bed, showered and toilet themselves in six minutes. But yet staff within these facilities are expected to complete all morning care for each resident on their list in such time. This list can have 8-10 people, depending on unit size.

The government expects us as family members to trust that our love ones are receiving proper care when in these facilities. However, we have to witness the overworked staff and frustrated residents day in and day out. To the government personnel in charge, I challenge you to this ongoing challenge, labelled the “six-minute challenge.”

This challenge demonstrates just how quickly the staff needs to move, yet they wonder why job burnout and understaffing exists.

Jenna Pembroke,
UPEI Student,

English 101

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