I am a paediatric nurse.
During the pandemic, I have seen so many nurses and midwives quit due to poor pay and working conditions. My colleagues are being asked to work in areas beyond their training and scope of practice.
All too often, I stop short of walking out from my shift and leaving my patients with nobody to look after them. I stay and try my best – which is not good enough.
Having to apologise to my patients for not being able to provide the care I wish I could has become an increasingly frequent occurrence.
Unsafe staffing has gone on for years on a shift-by-shift basis, and the government has refused to hear our pleas for help.
I am afraid to leave my family members in the care of hospital staff now, as I see the corners we have to cut to maintain basic care without even being able to have a break or leave to go home on time. I am 33 years old, and already I am afraid that I am almost at the end of my career in nursing as I cannot take these atrocious conditions for much longer.
I am afraid I will need to give up years of intensive care training to maintain my own physical and mental health.
We are not heroes, as they keep saying – we are highly skilled, highly trained, intelligent healthcare professionals and that’s how we should be treated. We are only asking to be treated this way.
Nurses are extremely resilient people – it’s got to make you worry when we are all standing here saying we can’t do it anymore!
Jessica Moore, RN