April’s story: Nursing is inflexible and hostile to mothers

April Abbott writes: I wrote this to highlight the difficulties I face as a mother of two young children returning to work. I’m shocked at the inflexibility of our system and the overt attempts to push mothers out of the workplace. More importantly, I wrote it to show that this is an issue that affects all Australians, because if we don’t act now we risk losing a valuable section of our nursing population. I hope my colleagues will read it and understand that it’s not about mums wanting the best shifts or choosing to be difficult. It is simply that many of us are faced with the choice of fighting for roster stability or leaving. Can we sit by and watch?

Let’s face it; the future of healthcare in Australia looks bleak. As a society we’re getting older and sicker and we keep expecting more of a system that just can’t keep up with the demand. When you add an ageing nursing population and the very real prospect of a healthcare workforce shortage, the picture looks pretty grim. So why is it that, in the midst of a national debate about health care funding, a Registered Nurse (RN) with over seven years experience in Intensive Care and an extra three in other areas of nursing can’t get a permanent job in a hospital? The answer – because I’m a mother. 

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April and her family.

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Posted in: Advocacy, Nurses - image and identity, Nursing experiences, women
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Fit for the Future – nurse and midwife health survey

If you’re a nurse or midwife in NSW, you’re invited to take part in Fit for the future: ensuring the health and wellbeing of the NSW nursing workforce to sustain future healthcare service delivery.

This large validated survey will provide information that will inform practical strategies to improve health and wellbeing for you and your colleagues.

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The survey is anonymous and open to all NSW nurses and midwives from all areas, public, private or aged care.

Take the survey.

If you have any questions,  contact Rachel Nicholls - Research Fellow UTS on (02) 9514 8049. NSWNMA members can contact Mark Kearin or Dr Janet Roden - Professional Officers on (02) 8595 1234.

Posted in: Nurse health, Nurses - image and identity
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Mid-year Call the Midwife DVD contest

We’ve passed the midpoint of the year and the days are getting longer. We reckon that’s worth celebrating with a DVD giveaway! We have five copies of Call the Midwife Series 3, with special feature cast interviews, for five lucky Nurse Uncut readers*.

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Posted in: Competitions, Giveaways
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My Budget concerns

Over on the NSWNMA website, we’re running a poll on the federal Budget which asks respondents to give their thoughts. Angie Gittus, an RN from Murwillumbah in the north of the state, outlined her concerns about the possible negative flow-on from the Budget. Today we share Angie’s thoughts with you.

If you are also concerned about the Budget’s consequences, please email your NSW senators and ask them to reject the anti-Medicare aspects when it comes into the senate this month.

Angie writes: I’m concerned the GP copayment will push people into Emergency Departments. I’m concerned about the stress on already strained EDs and hospitals.

I’m concerned that it costs more to treat people in ED and the savings are to be found be keeping GPs accessible (making them more accessible!)

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Angie Gittus.

I’m concerned about the reduction of funding for primary health care – where we know the biggest savings can be made, including scrapping the preventable health care funding.

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Posted in: Advocacy, Health funding
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Healthcare emergency!

Australia is facing a healthcare emergency.

The Abbott Government’s cuts to health have begun.

From this week, the Government begins its systematic slashing of more than $50 billion of health funding to the states and territories.

The Government will then ask the Senate to demolish Medicare by introducing a range of new costs for basic health services, including a $7 fee for GP visits and diagnostic and pathology services and an extra $5 for pharmaceutical medicines.

That’s why the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has launched a new national campaign to stop these changes before they have the chance to devastate the health of Australians.

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Posted in: ANMF, Community campaigns, Health funding
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