Strong turnout at RPA rally
Several hundred nurses joined a spirited demonstration outside Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in the inner-Sydney suburb of Camperdown.
Speakers included NSWNMA member and emergency nurse, Joshua Callaghan, who said conditions in the ED were unsafe.
Category 2 patients had to wait over an hour to see a doctor, and ambulances were waiting up to four hours to off-load patients, he said.
“They [ambulance crew] come begging us just to put a patient in a chair, so they can go to a 1A. They can’t go to a cardiac arrest in the community because they are stuck in the ambulance bay.”
Clinical nurse specialist Lisa Turner welcomed the strike day’s focus on rallies at local workplaces.
“The RPA rally went really well. There was a strong turnout and it felt good to be with so many colleagues who all came out to support each other,” Lisa, a palliative care community nurse.
She said it was inspiring to see TV news and social media coverage of nurses and midwives around the state protesting in their localities.
“I think the public feel the issues are more relevant to them when they see nurses taking action outside the local hospital they rely on.”
The NSWNMA ratios claim for community nursing includes a limit of four hours of face-to-face client contact per 8-hour shift, averaged over a week.
Lisa said workloads were increasing as hospitals aimed to discharge patients earlier, and more people were choosing to die at home.
“At the same time, we have lost a lot of senior staff,” she said.
At the rally, NSWNMA President, O’Bray Smith, introduced local Greens MP Jenny Leong.
“We have the power to win this campaign. There is a strong movement building,” Leong told the crowd.