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‘Deflated, defeated’: a nurse’s view from the front lines


After working as a nurse — in a job she loved — for more than 20 years, Nancy Halupa says she now thinks about quitting every day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated nursing shortages, and at the Toronto hospital emergency department where Halupa works, she says experienced nurses like herself are being stretched too thin.

And there's more. Patients swear at her. She's been called a Nazi. Sometimes, tears come when she doesn't expect them, and other times, she finds her emotions walled off.

Today, Jayme Poisson hears Halupa's perspective on the difficulties of being a nurse in a Toronto emergency department now.

"I just don't know how much longer I can work like a robot," Halupa says. "And I feel like that's what we're doing, we're just robots and we're doing an assembly line of patients."