Friday 1st October 2010
Sam Webb, RN at St George Hospital, visited local MP Dr Andrew McDonald to ask for his support for the NSWNA claim for nurse-to-patient ratios.
A weekend shift with particularly bad staffing pressures spurred Sam’s decision to visit his MP.
‘I decided I had to do something. I planned to visit anyway but terrible staffing problems made me decide I had to do something now. The NSWNA organiser made an appointment and I decided to come along,’ he told The Lamp.
‘On the afternoon shift on Sunday, a CNS was replaced by an AiN due to sick leave. This left an EN and AiN covering 12 patients. The in-charge RN was also expected to take 12 patients as well as assist the nurses. I was finishing my shift but I didn’t leave because I was worried that the skill mix was inadequate.
‘It’s not acceptable that experienced nurses are replaced by an AiN. Inadequate skill mix is unacceptable and impacts on patient care.
‘I explained what happened to Andrew McDonald and how with ratios this wouldn’t have happened.
‘He was very helpful. As an ex-paediatrician he has worked in the hospital system and understood that ratios would provide better outcomes. Nurses would be able to do their jobs and this makes it easier for doctors to do their jobs. He said he would support our campaign,’ said Sam.