The community’s shock about our conditions is palpable
RN Skip Blofield and colleagues from Westmead Hospital have been spreading the word about ratios in Parramatta.
“Any time you have someone’s attention for any extended period, I find the same pattern – when told about the conditions that nurses and midwives have experienced over the last few years, people overwhelmingly support our claims,” he says.
“Several times when the ratios claim is explained in contrast to workloads of six, eight, or ten patients without breaks or support, the shock is palpable.
“A young woman was reminded that in that same year during the Delta wave, when we were called the ‘Heroes of the Pandemic’, our wages were frozen. At that point she then pledged to change her long-standing party allegiance and to instead vote for another candidate friendlier to our claims, in an effort to change the state government.
“In truth, this is our great strength in speaking our demands to power – when the community understand the state of their healthcare system, they readily come on side with us.”
Campaigning for change makes me excited
Rachel Hughes from John Hunter Hospital says she has been meeting with local candidates with her colleagues, “talking about our real life experiences”.
“We also talk about ratios and why it is just so important. We’ve been letterboxing and approaching local businesses to display posters and flyers. Campaigning for change makes me excited: I want to make things better for all nurses and midwives.
“This election will be a catalyst for so many nurses and midwives. We will either retain the staff we currently have and entice more to the profession or we’ll see the largest exodus of nurses and midwives we have ever seen. As a profession we cannot deal with any more of this.”