President's Message: Medical Laboratory Technologist Week

Whether it’s the skill and knowledge of testing for HIV, the seasonal flu, cancer or COVID-19, our Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) continually step up to the challenge of providing timely diagnostic information for the whole health care team but especially in light of the public health challenges we currently face.

This week marks a celebration and acknowledgement of the work of an incredibly diverse group of professionals that provide education, experience and knowledge to the whole health care team.  They work as partners with doctors and other health care professionals, to provide them with the tools they need to make accurate and timely diagnosis.

Every day that we work in our health system is unique and challenging. We strive to bring our best skills to the table... during a pandemic, that work in a lab is even more important because of the public health impact. Behind the scenes or at the lab bench, Medical Laboratory Technologists keep their knowledge at the cutting edge and their skills sharp to keep all of us safe.

On behalf of SEIU-West, I thank our MLT’s for their incredible knowledge, skills and abilities.

 

 

Linen Worker Appreciation Week Profile- Connie

For the week of April 19 – 25, SEIU-West is proud to celebrate Linen Worker Appreciation Week!  

In health care facilities, Linen Workers provide laundry-related services to all departments and facilities for clients, patients, residents and staff.

For this weeks’ celebration, we’re shining the spotlight on Connie, a Laundry Service worker at Parkridge Centre in Saskatoon.

“Every day brings something different, but we make sure that the residents’ laundry is clean and returned within two days,” Connie says.

“We also make sure that staff have the insulation gowns that they need. Which is really important right now,” she continues. “As a safety measure we now have to wear masks throughout the building.

“What I love most about my job is the interaction with the residents.

“The current pandemic situation makes it really sad because for safety reasons we can no longer have the level of interaction we used to have with the residents,”  Connie said. “That’s really tough, because it’s hard for her and it’s difficult for me because she doesn’t totally understand why I have to keep my distance.”

Linen workers are an essential part in the fight against COVID-19 and we should take this week to appreciate everything they do.

We are proud to celebrate the health care heroes that are Linen Workers!

Front Line Heroes Profile- Russell

Here’s one of your SEIU-West Front Line Heroes.   

Providing hands on care during a pandemic is not easy but Russell is offering some advice from his Kitchen headquarters.

I work as a cook in an LTC facility. Every day seems to be like walking into a new job because we don’t know what we are walking into and a lot of us frontline staff feel the same way. We are looking to our managers for direction. Many of my coworkers have worked here a long time so they know their jobs but there’s a lot of pressure and stress with COVID-19.

Everyone is scared for their own safety to start with. Workers are already coming into work with anxiety. Many of my coworkers are scared to bring it home to loved ones.  

Sometimes we just have to talk about it and when we do, I see that people are ready to cry. Everyone seems to have an understanding that this is bigger than our unit, our region. We are just trying to do the best we can. 

For the most part, everyone is working beyond their job. People are having to work together. People are so stressed out that if one day they are moving slower than normal, the rest of the team covers that slack without judgement. This is bringing unity to my team. My advice to everyone out there is to lean on each other, talk to each other and help each other out because after this settles down, it comes down to your life.

We are all in the same boat. I think this is going to humble everyone. Growing up, we had more of a community and we shared resources because we had to. I’m hoping this helps us realize we need to get together and take of care of each other. We are lucky we have healthcare and sanitation. It’s good to be a Canadian.

Administrative Professionals Day Profile- Linda

Today the 22nd of April, SEIU-West is proud to celebrate ‘Administrative Professionals Day!

Front Line Heroes Profile- Roxy

Here’s one of your SEIU-West Front Line Heroes.   

Providing hands on care during a pandemic is not easy but Roxy is offering some advice from her Laboratory headquarters.

"We are holding up alright here, and staying informed. I’m focused on what I can control and what I can’t. We are in the calm before the storm right now. There is a lot of buzz and people are jittery due to the high level of uncertainty. It seems like change comes constantly. It seems like we are in a crisis right now but we have zero cases at our facility as of today. It’ll get worse before it gets better. Do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe."

 

Front Line Heroes Profile- Deidre

Here’s one of your SEIU-West Front Line Heroes.

Providing hands on care during a pandemic is not easy but Deidre is offering some advice from her Home Care headquarters. 

"Stay safe and do proper hand washing. Get correct information. Do not rely on Dr. Facebook! We will get through this. We are a team!"

Front Line Heroes Profile- Tami

Here’s one of your SEIU-West Front Line Heroes. Providing hands on care during a pandemic is not easy, Tami is an SEIU-West Front Line hero. Her super power is diagnostics.

"Unless you’re on the front lines, you don’t see COVID-19 directly. You don’t work with COVID-19 patients. You don’t know what it’s like. 

The unknown scares us. Everything is changing literally by the hour. PPE changes, which leads us to wonder if we were safe.

It’s hard to feel like we are well informed. The plan changes daily. Everyone feels out of the loop but as staff, we have tried to find out more information.

We attend emergency safety meetings and contact other departments.

To get through every day, I rely on my coworkers. This pandemic has brought our department closer together.

Best thing to do if I’m feeling anxious or nervous, is to talk it out as it helps me realize I’m not the only one and everything feels better when you get it off your chest. It’s important to stay open and communicate. If you need support, reach out to those you trust that can help you."

Scheduler's Week Profile- Lois

 

For the week of March 29 – April 4, SEIU-West is proud to celebrate our very first Scheduler’s Week!   

Schedulers maintain all aspects of staff scheduling while adhering to collective bargaining agreements and staffing guidelines of all departments.

To round off this week’s celebration, we’re shining the spotlight on Lois, a Scheduler at Homecare where her job typically includes scheduling clients to staff and staff to clients.

Lois says it’s their duty to make sure staff are  scheduled based on their permanent rotations, that staff know what the rotations and schedules look like and they also manage staff request for days off (including vacation and stats). This is done on a daily basis and as needed while abiding by the CBA.  Lois believes the Scheduling department are very aware of the CBA because they refer to it a lot.

Once  Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) are scheduled, based on the needs (profile) of the clients (e.g. frequency of daily care), the client attendances are booked into the staff rotation with the appropriate CCA.

Since COVID-19,  CCA’s schedules are now being faxed out to all the huddles and the Homecare building is now locked down to only staff after a push by SEIU-West members.

Lois says what she loves most about her job is the contact that she gets to have with her peers and the clients and the fact that she’s a leader for SEIU-west in Homecare.

She has made herself available to other members for comfort and reassurance; she has let them know that their union is there for them especially in light of COVID-19 and she often receives calls and texts messages.

Lois has worked as a Scheduler for decades and is proud to be of service to her fellow members.

We are proud to celebrate the health care heroes that are Schedulers!

Scheduler's Week Profile- Jocelyn

For the week of March 29 – April 4, SEIU-West is proud to celebrate our very first Scheduler’s Week!  

Schedulers maintain all aspects of staff scheduling while adhering to collective bargaining agreements and staffing guidelines of all departments within the scheduling office.

To celebrate this week we’re shinning the spotlight on Jocelyn, a Staff Scheduler at Saskatoon City Hospital Operating Room. Her job includes scheduling for nursing staff and support staff. In a typical day she looks after short notice calls for any absences based on how many theaters are running and how many staff they need to have for that particular day and it varies.

Her job also includes making  the necessary changes to make sure things keep running smoothly especially in light of Covid-19, such as making sure urgent surgeries are scheduled and elective surgeries are cancelled. 

Jocelyn says one of the best part of her job is interacting with people and she finds that employees are more trusting when they can speak to a live voice. Although there is less of this since the introduction of the staff scheduling website.

Jocelyn started out as a Work Clerk doing scheduling and has since then garnered 30 years experience as a scheduler. Jocelyn can actually recognize people that she has never met in person just from the sound of their voice! Now that’s what we call voice recognition!

We are proud to celebrate the health care heroes that are Schedulers!

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