Inside a nurse’s world: where stress is status quo

Hospitals' front-line workers share fears about patient safety and other concerns

Nurses administer medication, check IV drips, monitor patients' vital signs and carry out a dizzying array of other tasks during each shift. The front-line health care workers are integral to any hospital and make up a third of Canada's health care workforce, but we rarely hear from them.

CBC's the fifth estate went directly to registered nurses to get their perspective on the quality of care in Canada's hospitals in a cross-country survey. What we heard was startling. Nearly 40 per cent told us they feel burnt out to a high degree. Research shows nurse burnout is associated with risks to patient safety. Nurses we heard from also expressed fear that stress is leading to mistakes.

Read dozens of stories below from nurses working in hospitals across Canada. To protect their identity, CBC only identifies their province, unit type and age category. Each box represents responses categorized by the levels of burnout as compared to the nurse’s patient safety concerns. Click the boxes to read their stories.

Interactive graphic by Michael Pereira and Kerry Wall

CBC's the fifth estate conducted an online survey of registered nurses that was sent out through nursing associations and unions across the country. About 4,500 registered nurses from 257 hospitals responded.

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