Our nurses went on strike on 30th Jan 2019 at 8 am for 24 hours to highlight their problems of being understaffed and their low pay. The restorative pay promised many years ago was never given to them. Most of our nursing graduates go abroad because our health care is in crisis and they cannot live on their pay. Social media was flooded with pictures of nurses all over the world asking the Health Minister to give them a reason to come home, a decent salary. Ireland is a expensive country to live in.
A permanent staff nurse earns €18 per hour, babysitting €15 per hour and min. pay €10 per hour! They our the backbone of our health care system. They are overworked and under paid. The staff levels are at dangerous low levels. It is a health and safety issue. It causes more unnecessary stress. The lack of staff means they are overworked to the point of exhaustion in a stressful job.Nurses are forced to learn by trial and error, which can be dangerous.If they make a mistake they could kill someone or lose their jobs, the stakes are high! They work 12 hour shifts and are often very tired. They employ agency nurses at a great price than a permanent staff would cost per hour. We need to invest in dedicated permanent staff. They need to create flexible hours, eight hour shifts instead of 12, for new posts immediately for working mums and free creches. Ireland is a disgace that we do not do more our working women to get affordable safe childcare for our kids. Most of their money goes on childcare costs. Nurses cannot afford to buy a house their income is too low. Many single nurses haveto move back home. They pay for a four year science degree and do work experience free. It is time to be fair. The health minister earns the equivalent 6 nurses’ salaries a year!!!!!
One nurse told a reporter that she earned more in Australia 25 yrs ago than she does in Ireland now. .84% of the public support them. Patients were asking family not to visit them today as they did not want family to pass the nurses’ picket line. Many local companies gave free coffee and food to the nurses nationwide. They were overwhelmed with the public support they received. Alot of hospital doctors say they are telling the truth about low level of staffing and their overloaded work daily schedule. They must be university trained and continue there after life long training and adopt to new technology and law changes. Continuing professional development following registration is essential for nurses in order to acquire new knowledge that will enable them to practise effectively in an ever-changing health care system.
They provide hands-on care to patients by administering medications, managing intravenous lines, observing and monitoring patients’ conditions, maintaining records and communicating with doctors.
From a nursing recruitment site (Betterteam) I looked at their daily duties:
Registered Nurse Responsibilities:
- Maintaining accurate, complete health care records and reports.
- Administering medications to patients and monitoring them for side effects and reactions.
- Prescribing assistive medical devices and related treatments.
- Recording patient vital signs and medical information.
- Ordering medical diagnostic and clinical tests.
- Monitoring, reporting, and recording symptoms or changes in patient conditions.
- Administering non-intravenous medications.
- Assessing, implementing, planning, or evaluating patient nursing care plans by working with healthcare team members.
- Modifying patient health treatment plans as indicated by patient conditions and responses.
Registered Nurse Requirements:
- Bachelor degree or master degree in nursing.
- Ability to effectively communicate with patients, families, physicians and hospital staff.
- Basic computer skills.
- Professional, friendly attitude.
- Experience in home health care.
- Experience in emergency room or intensive care.
Breaking news reported that:’On foot of today’s strike, beginning at 8am, more than 25,000 patients will have medical appointments disrupted.In addition to 13,000 hospital outpatient appointments and 2,000 surgeries being cancelled, 10,400 appointments in community care services will be postponed’.This just gives us an idea of their workload and confirms that they are vital and overworked. Give them their pay increase. Even if the government can’t afford to pay them extra at least employ more nurses so the staffing crisis is addressed. It is an accident waiting to happen. Nurses are overworked and stressed out. Stop the agency nurses. The HSE is paying extra money that could give our graduates a 3 or 4 day week. It would be cheaper to employ a new graduate for a 3 or 4 day week that employ agency nurses.
On the other hand I see the government’s problem that it would open the doors to all other professionals for pay increases. They simply do not have the money for it.
I was waiting an hour to admit mum into respite the other day. The hospitals sent alot of the old into the respite hospitals and causes a huge backlog. Two admin staff and the director of nursing watched on – doing nothing but not helping despite being asked. The doctors were not going to over stretch themselves and admin staff looked the other way not taking on extra duties. Meanwhile one nurse hadto admit all by herself, shame on them!! I fear public opinion will go against the nurses if the public’s lives are adversely affected . Special needs nurses and cancer nurses are on strike too. Cancer treatment, psychiatric nursing and institutionalized day care for the disabled and old people’s day care centres are stopped. I pray there are no deaths or serious accidents.
See this intersting article on the nurses strike action on the public:
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