NURSES and midwives joined together on Wednesday at Singleton Townhead Park to protest the state government’s failure to introduce better nurse to staff ratios across the state.
The stop work action was one of many across the state organised by New South Wales (NSW) Nurses and Midwives Association.
“What we want is for rural hospitals and communities to be able to deliver the same amount of quality care as those in city centres,” NSW Nurses and Midwives Association - Sing-leton president Bridget Moberg said.
“The nurse to patient ratio was introduced in the 2010-2011 award in the metro areas and has been shown to increase the safety of patients and wellbeing of nurses.”
The group of around 20 nurses and midwives created placards and made sure their cause was known to the passing traffic for two hours.
“Singleton has a new emergency department and a lot of regional hospitals are expanding and so should the number of nurses employed,” Ms Moberg said.
“We ask the state government for a one nurse to three patients in the emergency department and one to four in the wards.”
The association also wants to increase the number of community nurses and those in speciality fields such as paediatric and neonatal intensive care.
Ms Moborg said that nurses in regional areas had tough workloads and often had to take up other medial tasks that their colleagues in the city don’t have to worry about such as extra paperwork and phone answering.
“The government hasn’t negotiated with the association and that’s why we’re bringing attention to it and we’re hoping to get support from the public to build our cause,” she said.
“We’re asking people to write to their local state member of parliament about how patient care should come first and to spread the word to friends and family.”