Ra­tios rally

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

Only two nurses are on duty at Fin­ley Hospi­tal at any one time, and the nurse to pa­tient ra­tio must be im­proved.

That is the mes­sage that will be de­liv­ered at a rally in Dig­gers Park next to Fin­ley Hospi­tal this morn­ing from 10am.

The rally has been called in sup­port of the NSW Nurses and Mid­wives’ As­so­ci­a­tion cam­paign to im­prove ra­tios, par­tic­u­larly as the NSW Gov­ern­ment elec­tion in March looms closer.

Fin­ley branch sec­re­tary and Fin­ley Hospi­tal nurse Chloe But­ter­field said re­pair­ing the ra­tios could as­sist with re­cruit­ment of nurses to Fin­ley, which she said is the big­gest is­sue for the lo­cal hospi­tal.

‘‘We don’t have enough nurses, but that’s hap­pen­ing across the board and not just at Fin­ley,’’ Mrs But­ter­field said.

‘‘We are a 16 bed hospi­tal and on a reg­u­lar ba­sis we can have 12 pa­tients ad­mit­ted.

‘‘On a shift we only have two nurses — one RN (reg­is­tered nurse) and one EN (en­rolled nurse).

‘‘If the RN is called to emer­gency you’re left with just one EN (on the ward).

‘‘We are still work­ing through the num­bers for the ex­act ra­tio we need at Fin­ley, but we at least need one more RN on ev­ery shift.

‘‘We also want a one in three ra­tio for the emer­gency depart­ment.’’

Mrs But­ter­field said the rally has been or­gan­ised to not only gain sup­port for im­proved nurse to pa­tient ra­tios, but to ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity on the con­di­tions lo­cal nurses are work­ing un­der.

‘‘Sim­ply put, if we don’t have the staff we can’t get to our pa­tients in time,’’ Mrs But­ter­field said.

‘‘And we’re not just talk­ing about the big stuff. If we have four pa­tients need­ing a lift, we might not be able to get to them in time to even help them get to the toi­let. ‘‘We can’t do bloods or medicines. ‘‘Most peo­ple in this com­mu­nity see what we do, but they don’t al­ways see what we’re work­ing through be­hind the scenes. ‘‘We all do the best we can do.’’ De­niliquin NSW Nurses and Mid­wives’ As­so­ci­a­tion branch sec­re­tary Rhonda Dixon said a chal­lenge has been is­sued to all can­di­dates for the NSW elec­tion, es­pe­cially those stand­ing in the lo­cal seat of Mur­ray, to of­fi­cially pledge sup­port to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s nurse to pa­tient ra­tios.

She said Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers Mur­ray can­di­date Helen Dal­ton has al­ready made her pledge.

Mrs Dal­ton is ex­pected to at­tend the Fin­ley rally this morn­ing, and then a sim­i­lar rally at De­niliquin Hospi­tal at 2.30pm to­day.

Ms Dixon said while the as­so­ci­a­tion has made many at­tempts to have nurse to pa­tient ra­tios im­proved over sev­eral years, mem­bers are more hope­ful of a change in this elec­tion year.

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