Nurses need some home life too!

The push for pattern rostering has left Maitland Hospital staff feeling totally undervalued by Area executives, said Leanne Reeves, president of the NSWNA branch at the hospital.

‘The current system enables us to request a shift off, a late shift, a night shift or a day shift to assist family commitments,’ Leanne said.

‘By moving to fixed pattern rosters, it may be that staff can only change with their colleagues after the roster is put out. Arranging a swap could involve asking many other staff if they agree to the swap, checking that the skill mix is kept safe and then getting the swap approved by the Nurse Unit Manager – a tedious process to say the least.’

Leanne said Maitland nurses want the flexibility to request certain shifts so they can balance work with their family lives.

‘Nurses love to help families return to normal by getting sick family and friends home. However, nurses need to have some home life too!

Children, partners, bills and mortgages all come into the equation.

‘Some nurses have worked the same shift for years to fit in with their families, health problems and required level of in-come. The proposed new system may prevent them from meeting those requirements.

‘Couples who work within the same hospital in different areas have grave concerns over how they will fit into this inflexible roster system without the ability to request shifts. As a couple they can provide a great service to HNEAHS now if they request within reason to work around their childcare needs.

‘If they can no longer request certain shifts, one person may have to resign and possibly go casual – not guaranteed to get shifts – and hope they can meet the current lifestyle they have achieved for themselves and their children.

‘Sadly many nurses have already said they may leave the HNEAHS due to the inflexibility of the new system and feeling totally undervalued by their employer.’