CFNU 2017 Speak Up by Heather Dean

This year I had the privilege of attending CFNU in my hometown, Calgary Alberta. Every so often we should all take the opportunity to be tourists in our own city.  Seeing Calgary through the eyes of my Nursing Colleagues, from across Canada, reminded me how truly blessed I am to live in this vibrant, friendly, beautiful City.

CFNU 2017 Speak Up theme brought to light many topics that have been effecting Nursing. A Nurse of 30+ years this was not news to me. The Nursing Profession has been dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Domestic Violence, and Violence in the Workplace for decades.

As Nurses we deal with the most beautiful moments in a person’s life, the birth of their child. As well as the most devastating moments, when they see a love one take their last breath. We provide highly advanced medical interventions, as well as emotional support to our patients and the people in their support system. I am proud to say that in my 34 years as a Registered Nurse I have experienced nothing but loving compassion from my Brothers and Sisters in Nursing. When I needed them to support me after a particularly difficult moment, day, or week.  They were there for me.   I am very proud to be a part of an organization that is bringing PTSD to light as a Nursing Issue. Thank-you CFNU.

There is NO ACCEPTABLE place for Violence. Not in our homes, and not in our workplace. Violence prevention is everyone’s issue. We will never stop the cycle of violence until we Speak-up and remove the stigma and shame.  Historically violence has been shrouded in a veil of shame. The victim fabricates an internal dialogue of how they some how brought on the violence.  If only they had responded differently, the violence would not have occurred.  This internal dialogue only feeds the fire of shame. We need to create a safe environment for people to share their experiences.  We need resources in place for both the perpetrator and the victim to break the cycle. We need to hold people responsible for their actions. Violence is Not Okay!!

Big Daddy Tazz –Comedian/Motivational speaker packed a powerful message about the stigma attached to Mental Health Issues.  Listening to his personal journey provided a glimpse into his day-to-day struggles.  He not only spoke of his struggles he spoke of how he came up with ways to cope and move forward. I loved his list of 5 people to call who you knew would help when things get tough.  How the expression “fine” has become the normal accepted response to the questions  “How are you?” or “How was your day?”   I do want to live in a world where people tell me how they are really doing and in return, I take the time to listen to understand their response.  Great speaker, Great Message!

As active union members were are that collective voice to “Make some noise” and “Speak Up”

What are you waiting for? Get involved! Speak-Up!

Yours in Nursing,

Heather Dean RN C Neph(C)

Local 115












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