Ramsay Health Care nurses across Australia will finally get to wear scrubs rather than a poorly designed uniform, thanks to an initiative by the NSWNMA branch at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital (LMPH) near Newcastle.
Nurses have long complained about having to wear uncomfortable, ill-fitting and restrictive uniforms in most LMPH wards except the ED, ICU and CCU, where scrubs are permitted.
Branch president and delegate Bronwyn Wratten said when the branch sought their views, almost all nurses indicated a preference for scrubs.
The branch raised the issue with local management, who passed it to Ramsay’s national office.
In February, the branch initiated a petition signed by more than two-thirds of affected nurses, calling on Ramsay to allow all LMPH nurses to wear scrubs. The petition was sent to Ramsay’s chief nurse.
In May, Ramsay approved scrubs for nurses across the company.
“Nurses have had some input into the design of the scrubs and we can start ordering them later this year. It is a win for the branch and the nurses who supported the petition,” Bronwyn said.
The branch has negotiated other workplace health and safety improvements in recent years.
They include routine fit-testing of masks rather than just fit-checking, employing outside staff for front-of-hospital screening rather than taking nurses off the wards and away from direct patient care, and getting workplace health and safety representatives appointed and trained.