The nurses claim the hospital’s plans to substitute critical care trained nurses with less experienced assistants in the ICU will put patients and staff at risk, while insisting current workload and patient-staff ratios in the hospital were unbearable.
“The system at the moment is completely broken,” Laura McKone, from the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, told 9news.com.au.
“Staffing is absolutely horrendous (and) nurses are leaving the profession in droves.”
McKone said nurses were under incredible pressure, mentally and emotionally, because of the workload.
“They are expected to look after so many patients, it’s dangerous,” she said.
McKone said assistants in nursing were not adequately trained to care for seriously unwell and ventilated patients in Hornsby’s intensive care.
In a statement, the Hornsby hospital said it is “working closely with our clinicians and the nurses union to explore new models of care and staffing contingencies” as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and busy winter season.
“At this stage no changes have been made and discussions are ongoing with the union,” a spokesperson said.
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They say they’ve been left with little choice other than to walk off the job to demonstrate their frustration, anger and desperation.