BA, R.PsychN; Peer Circle Director, Nurse 2 Nurse Peer Support
Poster Title: Nurses Empowering Nurses
Poster Description: Prior to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions surveyed Canadian registered nurses’ mental health and the results were troubling. Nurses reported higher rates of lifetime suicidal ideation, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when compared to other public service personnel sectors (3). A disturbing trend of excessive overtime, unsustainable workloads and workplace violence have led to a decline in nurses’ physical and mental health (1; 3). Not only do employers experience lost productivity, sick leave and leaves of absence, but patient care is negatively impacted (1; 3). Nurses experiencing burnout symptoms are especially prone to making errors that put patient safety at risk (2). The CNA (2010) describes “fatigue-related impairments to be comparable to alcohol intoxication impairments”. Nurses require mental health support, in order to prevent health care system failure.
To promote mental health, increase awareness, and advocate for policy changes for nurses.
Biography: Having worked as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse for over 10 years and experiencing her own mental health challenges and a psycho-spiritual crisis, Fola has learned that the healing journey often thrives from a holistic lens. Her practice is focused on incorporating shamanic practices, integration therapy, and alternative healing modalities when caring for others.
She has found a passion for teaching, creating safe spaces for others, and diving into topics on consciousness and wellness. Coming from a place of self-compassion and acceptance can open many doors of possibility in life. She is a proponent of self-care as one way to better manage a life that can seem chaotic and stressful. Her hope is for nurses to realize their potential to dream the reality that sparks them.
Sarah Bohachyk (co-presenter)
RN, BScN, MN (student); Advocacy & Education Director, Nurse 2 Nurse Peer Support
Sarah was part of the first graduating class from MacEwan University to receive a Bachelor of Nursing Degree and has been a practicing Registered Nurse for over 10 years. She has devoted her career specializing in Emergency Department nursing. She understands that emergency situations bring out the best and worst of humanity and has always advocated for her patients to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. In 2020, the impact of working a decade in the Emergency Department took its toll. She experienced her own battle with work-related PTSD. The process of seeking help and navigating the system while injured was traumatizing in itself and has led to her passion in supporting other nurses with their mental health challenges through the use of peer support.