“No Room to Grieve” explores trauma in the nursing profession

(screenshot from the short film, "No Room to Grieve" produced by ONA Local 8 and Helios Films)

A short film produced in Windsor gives the public a real to life look at the trauma nurses face on the job every day and reminds nurses where to find help.

“The reality for those of us on the front lines is that there truly is no time to process the events we experience,” said ONA Local 8 Coordinator, Susan Sommerdyk, RN. “We just carry on because we have to.”

“No Room to Grieve” will be released on September 8. Produced by ONA Local 8 and Helios Films, it is a culmination of a series of videos shown in a Windsor movie theatre and online.

For a preview of the film, click here.

A preview of the film, directed by Jendo Shabo, includes some graphic scenes which may be triggering to some.

“Those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often have little to no power over the trauma, making each attack an unpredictable nightmare,” he said.

The film shows the lasting impact of chronic workplace trauma.

ONA Local 8 partnered with several healthcare organizations, including Essex-Windsor EMS, Erie Shores Healthcare, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The local is also launching a webpage dedicated to helping frontline registered nurses access support if they have PTSD. A survey by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions found that 20 per cent of registered nurses do.

“While the public doesn’t always recognize that RNs and healthcare professionals are first responders, that is exactly what we are,” said ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “ONA has fought hard to have nurses included in provincial presumptive legislation that recognizes the likelihood of PTSD afflicting first responders and makes it easier to access help. This film is a valuable reminder to those suffering in silence that help is available.”

ONA represents more than 68,000 registered nurses and healthcare professionals and over 18,000 nursing student affiliates.