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Calls for increased nurses around patient safety concerns, workloads and nurse staffing levels in ED


Having held an extra ordinary meeting the Moruya NSW Nurses and Midwives Assoc. write to the Chief Executive to escalate attention regarding patient safety concerns, workloads and nurse staffing levels in the Emergency Department.

“For some time the emergency department has experienced an increase in number of presentations with increased levels of acuity and we are not able to cope.” wrote Sam Buckley, Branch executive.

“The emergency department is constantly understaffed with only 2 RN employed to the department, this means that most days each RN is working in isolation – 1 RN in triage and 1 RN for the department. This is unsafe and cannot continue.

"We need an extra RN designated to Triage plus an addition RN for AM, PM and ND.” Ms Buckley wrote.

Other issues include raised from the meeting and presented in the letter were:

–Nurses not being able to take meal breaks during their shift due to workload

žIncrease number of incidences requiring SAC ratings.

–Minimum frequency of patient observations not being met

–Increased patient waiting times

–Decreased patient satisfaction with the service

The letter advised “The nurses in Moruya ED are also expected to cover the meal breaks for the High Dependency Unit and also to assist in CT with patient IV cannulating, contrast checks and patient monitoring and positioning.”

“The Moruya branch has exhausted all avenues at the local management level via the reasonable workload process which has only exacerbated workloads through the direction to complete more data collection. The nurse staffing for ED matter is now urgent and cannot wait due to the increased patient traffic with the summer period and increased tourism on the South Coast.”

“The Moruya Branch request that this issue is resolved by the Local Health District Executive with an additional nurse each shift to cope with this increased workload. The Moruya Branch look forward to your response by close of business 20th December 2018 when it is meeting again to consider their options.”


Photo: NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Moruya Branch rally; calling for equity in Nurse to patient ratios

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