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Nurses have had enough

Categories: General News

Story from The Australian

That’s the message from ANMF (SA Branch) CEO, Secretary Elizabeth Dabars, who says her members, particularly those within emergency departments, are at a tipping point.

Patients’ lives are at risk and some nurses are considering careers elsewhere because of burnout.

One nurse recalls a mental health patient who waited 100 hours in the emergency department for a specialised bed. The patient was unable to go outside because there were no staff members available as an escort.

The patient was in a cubicle without windows for the duration, unable to tell whether it was day or night.

“It was noisy. The PA system goes off every 15 minutes. The lights never turn off,” the nurse says.

Another incident involved a 95-year-old man who was forced to wait six hours in the back of an ambulance for a bed to become available within the emergency department.

He soiled himself because nurses were unable to transfer him to the toilet inside the emergency department in time. The man, who had no family with him, was cleaned up and returned to the ambulance to continue his wait.

“Regrettably, nurses are reporting that the government’s recent initiatives are doing little to ease the enormous pressure on our hospitals, in particular the RAH,” Ms Dabars says.

“Patient safety is clearly still at significant risk.”

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