What nurses say

Tania Gleeson, RN, Wagga Wagga Base Hospital

If some good comes out of the Inquiry, I’m all for that. But it depends on what they home in on.

Staffing is the issue they need to look at. It is well known there are shortages everywhere and that impacts on patients’ health. That’s where it all falls down. There is a lack of staff and the numbers don’t keep up with the increased productivity.

If you have plenty of staff, everything else, including patient care, falls into line because they have the skills to deliver. If the inquiry can identify this it will give the government the encouragement to make the profession more attractive.

This is very important in rural areas where we need more incentives to get more people out there.

Joel Organ, RN, Concord Repatriation General Hospital

If the Inquiry can find out why there are shortfalls in the standard of care for patients – shortfalls in funding, support and staff – then I would definitely support it.

I think they need to look at bed numbers and the waiting lists for surgery. From a nurse’s point of view, they need to look at communication. Patients always complain about not being told about what’s happening to them. Medical staff don’t always tell the nurses enough and what the ramifications might be.

Everyone would like to see a better state of care and a more transparent system. Lots of money goes into health care. Sometimes it is not clear where it goes.

Marilyn Body, RN, Aboriginal Community Nurse, Coffs Harbour

I support this Inquiry in some ways. The health system in NSW needs to be reviewed. Our jobs as nurses are getting harder and harder.

There is a lot of time spent working through paperwork and bureaucratic processes. Here in the North Coast Area Health Service there is still a restructure going on and there are other projects being pushed on top of us.

I’m a nurse in Aboriginal health and they need to look at that area as well as mental health and community nursing services. It’s becoming much busier. They want more people treated in the community but they aren’t giving us the resources to do it.

I want to see people higher in the hierarchy – politicians and managers – made more accountable.