One in three of these nurses said they would quit within 12 months (37 percent), and one in five intended to leave the healthcare sector altogether. Another two out of five nursing staff who were willing to resign had not yet decided whether they would give up their job.
The report was produced by the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Center – a partnership between the University of South Australia, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and the Rosemary Bryant Foundation.
Nurses were surveyed between 1 July and 5 September 2022 – one year after NSW’s delta COVID lockdown and following several consecutive Omicron waves which led to increased hospital admissions and put immense pressure on the healthcare system.
Nursing professionals were the most vulnerable to the effects of staff shortages in hospitals. They were more likely to report being asked to work double shifts (75 percent), working outside their area of expertise, and being most likely to be abused by patients and their families.
Kate Goodman, 27, a Sydney registered nurse, says she and her colleagues walk off each shift and dread the next.
“We feel like, ‘I don’t want to come back. I don’t want to be here I feel miserable and overwhelmed.
“We bleed staff,” said Goodman, a registered nurse with five years of experience. “It’s a scary experience to look around a department and see that there are a lot of people with the knowledge already at the door.”
At Goodman’s hospital, a single nurse can be in charge of 35 patients in the emergency room at one time, she said.
“Might not [in critical condition] but they’re in pain and uncomfortable and waiting up to eight hours to see a doctor … and they can start to get aggressive and verbally abuse you,” she said.
“No wonder nurses are leaving. Why would you show up every day and submit to that?”
NSWNMA Secretary-General Shaye Candish said the state government must implement preventive and early intervention measures, such as For example, more nurses working shifts, including senior staff with enough experience to treat patients safely, better reporting of mental health hazards in the workplace, and more strategies to address workplace violence.
Opposition health spokesman Ryan Park said a Labor government would impose a minimum and enforceable safe staffing level in public hospitals, equivalent to an additional 1,200 nurses and midwives across the state, to achieve the staff-patient ratio of one nurse for each ensuring three patients in emergency departments and one nurse for every four patients in general wards.
In the 2022-2023 budget, the state government committed to hiring an additional 10,148 healthcare workers, including at least 5,000 nurses, over four years as part of a $4.5 billion package to combat burnout and improve patient outcomes .
A spokesman for NSW Health said: “We recognize that the last three years have been very challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it is understandable that some staff may be feeling burnt out, anxious or desperate.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to eliminate or reduce the hazards that can cause it
to psychological injuries as well as to improve support in the workplace.”
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/i-don-t-want-to-come-back-ptsd-burnout-driving-nurses-out-of-hospitals-20230210-p5cjne.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Nurses driven out of hospitals by PTSD, burnout