Nurses sick-out at Sandilands

More than a dozen nurses at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) called in sick yesterday amid concerns of COVID-19 exposure at the facility, according to Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President Amancha Williams.

“As of 10:45 this morning, I have learned that there was a number of [nurses who] called in at SRC,” Williams told The Nassau Guardian.

“Those who are at work are saying that they have a 

challenge at work. Nursing officers are saying that they’re still at work to assist with the shortage and they’re getting off tonight. That is what we’ve understood in my investigation when I called about what is happening.

“The nurses are tired.”

One nurse, who works at SRC, said, “I can count the amount of nurses here.”

SRC Administrator Mary Walker directed all comments to the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) when reached.

PHA Director of Communications Judy Terrell said 14 nurses “called in”.

To her knowledge, services were not impacted “significantly”, she said.

Earlier this month, PHA confirmed that 23 patients at SRC tested positive after a staff member, who was working across three wards, tested positive for COVID-19.

Walker said 39 employees were interviewed as a result of the incident.

Yesterday, Williams said the union was working with Walker and other officials “to try and assist”.

She said it appears as though “we are not having any good results”.

“In reference to the timing of getting back their test results, some are waiting longer — four to five days — knowing that they have been exposed,” Williams said.

“They are not getting tested and they are experiencing symptoms and no testing. So, we have a number of challenges on these wards. Nurses are really sick.

“If you have any flu-like symptoms, you’re being told to stay home because you don’t want to expose yourself, your patients and you don’t want to expose your family.”

She said the nurses are anxious and frustrated and argued that the system isn’t working for some of the nurses.

“They feel like they’re second class,” Williams said.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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