I don’t sleep well at night – scenes from my shifts play in my mind over and over
For years, we have been campaigning for ratios for patient safety, only for it to fall on the government’s deaf ears.
Long before COVID hit, we often had nursing shortages on shift, poor skill mix, RNs on sick leave replaced by AiNs, and huge amounts of overtime on offer. I don’t know how we managed to get through it and keep our patients safe but we did – but then along came COVID. We didn’t know what hit us.
Patient numbers swelled and nurses were deployed from each ward to staff COVID units. Staff were exhausted from constantly working overtime, and with the overtime, wards were still short-staffed. We all worried that we would take COVID home to our families too.
I work in the wards, and it is horrendous. I don’t even have time to chat with patients during the course of my shift, to offer them the emotional support that I normally would. All we can do is concentrate on completing all the tasks we must do. I don’t sleep well at night – scenes from my shifts play in my mind over and over.
What we do is bloody hard work, and we still have no real acknowledgement from the government.
We desperately need our ratios NOW, before the next wave hits us. Our residents in Western Sydney deserve better. The residents in NSW deserve better, as do the nurses and midwives.
Christine Boxsell, EN