The real stories of nurses ...

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Stories you don't hear in the media, the real nurses stories:

I get Snapchats from my sister after her 12 hour shift of the welts on her face from her mask. Tears streaming down because she doesn't know if she can handle going into her next shift in ICU after the traumatic night she's just had. Not wanting to let her team down, as they are already short staffed with 24 now in self isolation (this number increasing daily) due to contracting Covid-19. She's dehydrated, her head thumping as she only got two short breaks where she could have a drink, but she didn't want to drink too much as there was no scout nurse on that could cover her if she needed to go to the toilet after she went back to her patient she is caring for one on one.

You don't see nurses rallying for their human rights in the middle of a pandemic, or striking for their conditions... Why, because nurses see first hand the impacts this pandemic is having on those that contract Covid-19 & would not dare put added pressure on nurses already coping with the effects. You don't see nurses striking for conditions... Why, because this would leave your loved one without care. So WE need to fight for nurses & for patients.

There is a lack of PPE despite the government saying they are being taken care of... It must be being rationed or potentially it is that they are so short staffed they are unable to collect more, but my sister said last night they run out of visors & gowns in ICU... How can we let this happen! The number of healthcare workers who have contracted Covid-19 is over 1100. The media advised this week when reporting on the hospital my sister works at that an 'internal review of infection control procedures in being undertaken', which projects the idea that it is the hospitals fault, or even worse the nurses fault that so many staff have contracted this virus. But it is often forgotten that nurses don't just "care" for patients in the conventional sense of providing medications & medical support, where they wear PPE & it stays as it is designed, keeping nurses safe. This week my sister was forced to hold a patient down for his own safety & for that of other staff for a considerable amount of time while they waiting for security staff for an agitated patient attempting to self-harm & harm nurses, an arms length away from this patient with Covid-19 & while her PPE was realigning itself & moving away from being protective she didn't have the option to just leave the situation & protect herself. It is no wonder nurses are catching Covid-19 through no fault of their own.

The nurses safety is not the government's priority, evident by hospitals being short staffed. How can nurses health, safety & wellbeing be looked after if they are having to decide if they have a glass or water or holding off going to the toilet for 4 hours until someone can come & cover. This is not a choice they should be forced to make.

These nurses cannot give the care they would want: when a nurse cannot safely roll a patient by themselves (a patient on one-on-one care), despite the fact the patient has had uncontrollable diarrhoea... Do they A) wait two hours for someone to be able to help, or B) do they try their best to roll & clean the patient who is hooked up to an inconceivable amount of tubes & hope they don't injure themselves or the patient more whilst they attempt this themselves? This is an actual example of my sister's nightshift choices & this is undeniably cruel & unfair. Nurses are trying their best but they cannot do their best in these conditions. They go home defeated they've done a bad job, but it isn't them that is failing... It is the government.

And don't get me started on their pay. Comparing Victorian teacher salaries & Victorian nurses salaries - simply because of the similarities in structure; annual wage increases, both salaries are based on years of experience & both government (in no way am I getting into a debate that one deserves more than the other) but how on earth is it reasonable that a Victorian nurse with 5 years experience earns 7.44% less than a teacher in the equivalent situation. And let's remember this is based on the assumption that the nurse works full time, but in reality due to the physical demands nursing has on the body the majority of nurses actually don't earn a full time wage. Compare this, to a Victorian MP who's base salary is $182413... A MINIMUM OF 2.4 times the annual salary of a nurse!

Enough is enough.

Sign this in support of nurses. They need more staff on wards, more PPE & more remuneration which accurately reflects the work they do. A thank you to nurses is great, buy they don't want thanks, they need help! 

Nurses and Midwives Victoria public sector salaries

Teacher Salaries Victoria

MP's salaries