After a series of suicides, the great discomfort of nurses

After a series of suicides, the great discomfort of nurses

VIDEO – A call for a national strike is launched this Wednesday to denounce the unease affecting the profession. The unions denounce the lack of listening of the Minister of Health, Marisol Touraine.

Fatigue, exasperation and sadness: this is what the nurses hear expressing this Wednesday in the street. At the call of the (CNI), one of the main unions in the profession, a rally was scheduled at 11am, at the roundabout of the town hall of Martigues near Marseille. All the professionals were called to come dressed in their white coats and a black armband. Those who could not move were advised to wear the armband throughout the day in the hospital. “During the rally, we will observe a minute of silence in tribute to our colleagues who died this summer,” explained Nathalie Depoire, president of the CNI.

Five nurses have indeed killed themselves since June, in Toulouse, Le Havre, Saint-Calais, near Le Mans, and Reims. Only the suicide that occurred in Toulouse has so far been officially recognized as an accident at work. But for the unions, all are linked to the deterioration of working conditions. “In Le Havre, the nurse clearly implicates the hospital in a letter. She was transferred to a service she did not know, without support. There was a problem in the care and she felt guilty, ”says Nathalie Depoire. “In Saint-Calais, it is a health executive who was forced by the management to impose decisions on nurses that were not their own. In Reims, two nurses from the same service ended their lives, ”she lists.

For the CNI, the list of ailments is long: frenetic pace of work, demand for absolute versatility without support, non-consideration of skills… “The overload of work is increasing year after year. The instructions from the ministries are clear: savings must be made, and they are being made on staff. Departures are not replaced, ”explains the president of the union. amplifies the phenomenon, according to her. “It is not tenable. By dint of pulling on the rope, we will no longer be able to hold on. There are flashing alarms everywhere, many colleagues are off work. The pot is ready to explode, ”she deciphers.

“Lives are at stake, both nurses and patients”

Nathalie Depoire, President of the CNI

Criticized for her late reaction to the suicides that plagued the profession this summer, the Minister of Health, reacted last week. She recalled in particular that measures had been taken in 2012 for psycho-social risks and confirmed working on new measures. “I will announce a plan in the fall for health professionals,” she assured. Too late and above all too insufficient for the unions. “The process was launched in 2012 but we are in 2016 and action is now needed. It has to go much further than writing reports. We need means to remedy the cause of the disease rather than seeking to cure it once it is there, ”Nathalie Depoire annoys.

Despite contacts with the minister’s office, the CNI regrets not having been able to meet the Minister of Health directly. Its representatives wish to present its proposals to it, in particular “the allocation of funds” to manage recruitments, the “definition of bed-to-patient ratios by specialty” or even the “strengthening of occupational health services”. “Above all, we need to be heard, that the nurses’ discomfort comes out of the corridors. We must break the omerta. Lives are at stake, both nurses and patients, ”warns the president of the CNI.