NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda and NSWNA Officers travelled to workplaces last month to run information sessions about implementing the new provisions in the new Public Health System Award.
At Liverpool Hospital, Richard Mensah, RN in the Neurology ward, said he was looking forward to increased levels of staffing. ‘The provisions in the Award will make our job easier. We’re looking forward to implementing increased staffing on our ward that will deliver safe patient care. We’re very excited and relieved that the situation with staffing is finally going to change,’ he said.
Brian Grant, CNS in the coronary care unit at Liverpool Hospital, said staff are keenly waiting the implementation of the staffing provisions in the Award. ‘Our ward only has the staffing levels of an ordinary medical ward so we’re already understaffed. Before the MOU was signed off, they actually wanted to cut our staff numbers because our beds were cut from 28 to 26.
‘Judith’s information at the session was really good and enlightened us quite a bit and will certainly help us move forward in implementing the Award provisions. The Director of Nursing said at the meeting that the coronary care unit would be one of the places looked at for extra staffing.
‘We will be able to have a nurse in charge – particularly on an afternoon shift – who doesn’t have a patient load, which would be a big thing for us,’ said Brian.
In the Emergency Department at Liverpool Hospital, staff are pleased they finally have one more nurse per shift, especially as this gives NUMs the power to place the extra nurse in resuscitation.
‘We’re really excited to get an additional nurse per shift. It will make a difference,’ said Michael Patane, an RN in ED. ‘We fought hard for extra staff to help us maintain the highest level of patient care. Now we look forward to its implementation.’
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