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Inquiry into Workplace Bullying and Fatigue in SA hospitals and health services

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Add your voice to ANMF (SA Branch)’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Workplace Fatigue and Bullying in South Australian Hospitals and Health Services.

We encourage all members to share their feedback via enquiry@anmfsa.org.au by 2 January 2019. Our response will address the below Terms of Reference, outlining the specific areas the Inquiry will explore:

  1. The factors contributing to workplace fatigue and bullying in South Australian Hospitals and Health Services;
  2. The impact of workplace fatigue and bullying on the health and wellbeing of health care professionals;
  3. The impact of workplace fatigue and bullying on quality, safety and effective health services;
  4. The extent to which current work practices comply with relevant legislation, codes and industrial agreements;
  5. Opportunities*, costs and impacts of measuring fatigue and using risk management tools, audit and compliance regimes, including those in other industries (e.g. aviation, mining and transport industries) to reduce the occurrence or impact of fatigue and bullying;
  6. Measures to improve the management and monitoring of workplace fatigue and bullying;
  7. the extent to which fatigue, including a comparison to other industry sector practices#, is a factor that is taken into account during investigations into medical misadventure; and
  8. Any other relevant matters.

* Explanatory note: the intent is to consider opportunities (possibilities) to measure fatigue in different industry sectors, and the potential benefits of doing so.

# Explanatory note: the intent is to include identification of approaches to fatigue management that are considered notionally acceptable in different industry sectors

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8 thoughts on "Inquiry into Workplace Bullying and Fatigue in SA hospitals and health services"

  1. JA says:

    I have been bullied for 12 months now and Management call it Performance Management. There is nothing positive about going through this process; it’s all negative and finger pointing and has caused me much stress because I know management and others are watching everything I do to see what can be made of it.
    Examples;
    * A typo with the wrong month in the date: I was berated because I’m a level 2 RN and should do better
    * Being rebuked for using a child’s school photo instead of taking one myself (had parents permission)
    * It doesn’t matter what I say or how I explain things; the 2 managers close rank on me and say that I am not following procedure.
    * Not receiving PIP paperwork in time
    * Many other “petty’ instances

    • Jodi says:

      Couldn’t agree more.
      I’ve been in the same situation where the punishment far outways the crime.
      My stress and anxiety is through the roof.
      I had serious family issues and was not supported but told ‘maybe I shouldn’t be at work”. As minor errors of judgement came into my work practice I was treated like a criminal, negligent and was accused later of serious misconduct. I felt bullied, discriminated against and unsupported. Management ‘talk the talk’ as they proceed to hide behind policies and directives whilst they ruin your career and induce mental health issues.
      Local health network management have every one high on their priority list except the nurses and staff that are actually doing the work for them.

  2. Deb says:

    The old saying of nurses eat their young is still prevalent in the nursing industry. Nurses can not appropriately care for their patients if they themselves are not cared for. The anti-bullying needs to start from the top with the Nursing Directors and the Unit Managers, it is time to be kind to our nurses who work long hours and shift work. They care for our community over times that could be spent with their own families. Through kindness great managers with good emotional IQ that are able to listen and support their staff is needed. An appropriate rostering system that gives nurses the ability to choose to work permanent nights and or swap out of shifts to maintain a work life balance. Decrease the number of nurses who remain on the roundabout of ongoing temporary contracts as this causes a high level of stress on the nurses as they are always unsure of being kept in ongoing work. (at a time of nursing shortage in this country this practice should be unacceptable).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Too afraid to say
    Anything
    That’s the extent of it
    Fear
    Unrealistic expectations
    Treated poorly in front of staff and patients
    Told I won’t be paid overtime for no lunch break
    No project time
    No tea breaks
    Accusations and no apology when situation explained
    All leads to poor mental and physical health
    When sick made to feel guilty due to staffing issues

  4. JP says:

    I have to agree Deb. This would be a good place to start.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I started working in Australia feeling and believing I was good at my job. I now dread going to work, because I am made to feel completely inadequate.
    Unit manager makes all the staff feel like nothing they do is good enough. They have pretty much said, in not so many words, in front of half the ward (and anyone walking by) that they think most of us are stupid because we don’t do things exactly to their perfect standards (which are not realistic).
    We are expected to be perfect and no mistake is acceptable. But humans aren’t perfect!
    Constantly being criticised and watched for mistakes.
    If you don’t get a break you’re told its your poor time management rather than the work load being excessive or being offered help.
    Never anything positive said to us about our work
    Made to feel terrible and obviously judged for taking any sick leave or carers leave and scrutinised when you come back to work.
    The Patients notice how the unit manager treats us and notices we are far less stressed when they are not around.
    Staff who have worked there much longer than me tell me, “they’ve always been like that”. That there’s no point reporting it because nothing has happened when they’ve tried before. They just put up with it. And this isn’t the first ward who have said exactly the same.
    Policies are in place according to the intranet and look very fancy and plausible but also very obvious no one actually follows them or has any regard for the health or well being of their staff.

  6. Maureen says:

    I work as a PSA in a Emergency department and have worked with someone for 18 months who has an obsession to dismiss his duties with me for the last two hours of our shift to help kitchen staff, no one has confronted him he is just ignored and 3 months ago I informed my manager that I cannot cope with this extra work load she is just finger pointing me and will not let me change my roster and I’m now at the point of going on Workcover because I’m not coping I feel exploited and white anted, it’s becoming a big joke to kitchen staff who get an extra smoko break because of his help whilst I continually have two hours short! I have 32 years service with SA health and never expected this in my final working years.

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