BC Nurses Union says members facing stigmatization

WatchAmong those on the front lines of this pandemic are nurses who are putting their health at risk and now they're facing even more challenges outside of work. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have publicly received plenty of support. But in private, many nurses are getting a different reaction.

“Some of the situations nurses have shared with me have included being denied cab rides, being denied access to food establishments, some grocery places, and unfortunately child care which is so important for so many of our nurses.” said the president of the BC Nurses Union, Christine Sorensen.

It appears some members of the public are frightened that nurses may be bringing COVID-19 home with them from the hospital.

But the union president says nurses are doing their part to keep everyone safe.

“People really do need to be aware that nurses are equally concerned and doing everything in their power to make sure that it’s not transmitted and that they’re not carrying it,” Sorensen said.

After some of the bigger COVID-19 outbreaks in the province began to take place, the union was notified that some nurses had been denied taxi rides to and from work. The president of the BC Taxi Association Mohan Kang says he is shocked by these allegations.

“We appreciate the work they’re doing for the community and there’s no reason at all that we would do anything to decrease their capability to do their great job,” said Kang.

Of course there’s been acts of support such as the 7 p.m. salute for healthcare workers. Where people make noise in a variety of ways to show their support. The BC Nurses Union says the cheers are heartwarming, but would appreciate the trust of all members of the public.

“In reality, nurses work with infectious diseases every day. And we’re very good at making sure that we don’t transmit what we have exposed to us at work back out to the community,” Sorensen said.

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