Take action to win ratios

TheLamp-October2010

NSWNA branches are now gearing up for a very determined community campaign to win nurse-to-patient ratios.

NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said, ‘Branches are getting organised and active to win ratios. This is going to be our toughest fight but the most important – we’re fighting for safe patient care. We need to let the Government know we’re determined to win ratios, and inform the community about the current staffing crisis with nurse-to-patient ratios as the solution.

‘We need nurse-to-patient ratios to fix the staffing crisis in our public hospitals and services. The outstanding success of ratios in Victoria in ensuring safe care and addressing the nurse shortage proves it is the best solution.

‘Nurse-to-patient ratios can only be achieved if all members get involved. If everyone does their little bit, we can win this,’ said Judith

‘I strongly urge all members to take a moment to support the campaign. It’s not hard, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time … and it can be heaps of fun. Most importantly, your effort will make a big difference.’

What you and your branch can do to help win ratios

  • Establish and be part of a Workplace Campaign Committee (WCC) at your workplace to organise campaign activities to win ratios. Contact your NSWNA Organiser for assistance in establishing a WCC and organising activities.
  • Write to and visit your local MP. The NSWNA has developed a Safety in Numbers kit to explain the campaign to MPs. Phone the Association on 1300 367 962 for a kit.
  • Hand out campaign brochures to your community. The NSWNA has developed ‘Our community deserves safe patient care’ brochures to explain the campaign to the community. Phone the Association on 1300 367 962 for brochures.
  • Make sure your contact details are up to date. The NSWNA needs your mobile number, email address and Award classification so we can get campaign materials to you fast.
  • Encourage all your friends and workmates to be NSWNA members – there is strength in numbers. They can join online or by phone today.
  • Make sure you come to Branch meetings at your hospital or service.
  • Visit the NSWNA website for more information: www.nswnurses.asn.au

Deliver leaflets in your street

On your way to the bus stop, the railway station, the local shop, as you walk the dog – it only takes five minutes to deliver leaflets to letterboxes in your street or block.

The Lamp joined Marichell Beltran, RN at Mount Druitt Hospital, as she distributed leaflets while walking her dog, Fluffy.

‘We need to let the community know about the staffing problems in our hospitals, and that ratios are the solution,’ says Marichell.

‘Distributing leaflets to houses in my block is an easy way to do that. It takes five minutes but it makes a big difference. If the community understands that nurse-to-patient ratios is the solution to staffing problems in our hospitals they will support our campaign to win ratios. With the community on side, there will be more pressure on the Government to listen.

‘We all need to do our bit to fight for ratios. Letting the community know about the staffing problems in our hospitals by distributing leaflets is something everyone can do,’ Marichell says.