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Nurses Need Protection Too

Letter to the Editor, October 18, 2018

Paula Doucet, President of the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU)

October 17, 2018 was a historical day for all Canadians.

Legally and scientifically, there are still a lot of unknowns on the impacts of both recreational and medicinal cannabis use. As President of NBNU and an advocate for our members, I know that nurses work in an environment where safeguarding patient safety is a priority but how does this legislation impact the safety and education of your New Brunswick registered nurses and nurse practitioners?

Nurses who work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health clinics and private residences where cannabis is present, must be provided with appropriate training and have access to the recommended personal protective equipment. In light of this new legislation, it is imperative that your registered nurses and nurse practitioners be provided with sufficient resources and training to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and judgment to educate and respond to their patients, residents and clients with respect to the health implications of cannabis.

With that said, it is important for all of our New Brunswick registered nurses and nurse practitioners to know and stay up to date on their organizational policies. If no policies exist, we are encouraging them to work with their local presidents and their joint occupational health and safety committees, as well as other members of their health care team to help employers develop guidelines and procedures in accordance with federal and provincial regulations.

The New Brunswick Nurses Union represents and advocates for over 6,900 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in this province. We look forward working alongside our affiliates and with employers and government regarding policies and procedures on how to keep the safety and education of our registered nurses and nurse practitioners and the wellbeing of patients, residents and clients top of mind in the wake of this new legislation.

In solidarity,
Paula Doucet, President of NBNU

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