The Saturday Paper

Nursing bad memories


Words cannot express my anger with government­s since 1997 when Prime Minister John Howard gave providers self-regulation in nursing homes (Editorial, “Two jobs”, February 5-11). For the following 20 years I worked as a registered nurse in “a Hell” with loss of job satisfacti­on. My skills helped the nursing home to pass accreditat­ion standards. To deal with my subsequent depression, guilt and shame I vented my anger and became obsessed with advocacy, by writing to politician­s and alerting the media to the crisis in aged care, which resulted in no change whatsoever. In 2015 I attended New South Wales government hearings to be told a registered nurse was not needed in a nursing home 24/7. At 78, I now sit comfortabl­y in my own home and shed tears at the debacle in aged care unfolding on my television screen. It wasn’t always like this. It was a joy to begin my nursing career in the 1980s when funding for nurses was returned to government if providers did not use it as ordained for nursing care only.

– Judy Nicholas, Denistone East, NSW

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