Registered nurses dropped from NSW aged care

Last Friday the NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner sent a clear message to the state’s aged care nurses – the Government doesn’t care about their jobs, their working conditions or their pay, let alone the crucial role of registered nurses in caring for the frail aged.

age nurse-nurseThe decision to remove the legislative requirement for registered nurses in nursing homes has left nurses vulnerable to job losses and older people at risk of poor standards of care and inappropriate hospitalisations.

This decision benefits no-one but aged care providers and their shareholders.

Here’s what you can do: Continue reading

Posted in: Nursing - Aged Care, NSWNMA, Community campaigns
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Brett Holmes: Why corporate tax avoidance is a health hazard

At a time of great strain on public health services and increasing out-of-pocket costs for patients, it is becoming clear that corporate tax avoidance is a health hazard, according to Brett Holmes, General Secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association.

GetUptaxBrett writes: The Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance and Aggressive Minimisation released its report on Friday, putting further pressure on politicians to take action.

With an election looming amidst a health and education funding crisis, it’s time for politicians to act in the health interests of our communities, rather than the financial interests of corporations, by announcing a comprehensive policy on tax avoidance.

For too long now the responses from politicians to the budget crisis has been one of cutbacks on spending; cuts to Medicare and cuts to the states. As the cash-starved public system begins to falter under increasing strain, state politicians continue to support the privatisation of health services, handing valuable taxpayers’ money over to private companies. Continue reading

Posted in: NSWNMA, Funding, Health funding
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This year on Anzac Day and every Anzac Day that follows…

Sally Sutherland-Fraser is a perioperative nurse educator who travelled to Gallipoli last September as part of a cruise from Athens to Turkey commemorating the nurses of the 3rd AGH (depicted in the series ANZAC Girls) who cared for allied troops on the Greek island of Lemnos. Sally writes about her experience for Nurse Uncut.

Grace Wilson This week I was delighted to find this huge banner in the Sydney CBD of Matron Grace Wilson – a towering woman and nurse, whose leadership should be remembered on Anzac Day.

Sally in front of banner depicting Matron Grace Wilson holding a parasol and notebook as she ‘does a round’ at the 3AGH, Lemnos, on George Street, Sydney.

This year, Anzac Day means a great deal more to me than it has in previous years. It’s not only because now I can conjure up my own images of those beaches and forbidding topography when I lower my eyes for a minute’s silence. It’s also because last year I experienced something profound and lasting that connects me to Grace Wilson and those iconic places and events of WWI. Continue reading

Posted in: International, nursing history
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Bronze memorial for WW1 Matron Alice Cashin

A registered nurse, the first Australian to be awarded a Royal Red Cross (RRC 1st class) plus the bar for bravery during World War I, is to have a bronze statue erected in her honour next to her unmarked grave in southern Sydney.


AliceCashinAlice Cashin, who trained at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR) during the war, serving in Egypt and later aboard the hospital ship HMHS Gloucester Castle when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1917.

As Matron of the ship, Alice put her patients and nursing sisters first, making sure all 400 wounded were safe on lifeboats before climbing aboard the final one herself. Once picked up by a rescue vessel, Alice continued her work caring for the injured with the limited tools she had, administering pain relief and dressing wounds with olive oil.

Continue reading

Posted in: nursing history

Student nurse: I was attacked by a patient

Second year nursing student Jacqui Austin* tells a troubling story. She writes: Maybe my situation is too dark for Nurse Uncut, but I want it to be shared. How many other students are getting treated like this? How many nurses are getting treated like this? The hospital I was learning in failed me, my university to some extent failed me and my profession failed me that day, week and the months that followed (from all the traumatic stress). [*This is a pseudonym.]

Here is her story.

While on placement, I was attacked by a patient. I was verbally and physically abused and assaulted.

stressnurseWhen I reported it to the hospital, I was discouraged and told I would not be supported going to the Police. No one sat down with me to tell me what the processes were and what my options and rights were. I was instead put into a room on my own and had to fill out lots of paperwork and incident reports as well as writing a letter to the NUM with details on what took place.

No counselling was offered until I chased this up on my return to the ward after the weekend.

I had to push to be moved onto another ward and didn’t even know I was entitled to this. Continue reading

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Posted in: Nursing experiences, Violence, Nursing students, women
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