Aged care AIN: ‘Crying in the pan room’


An aged care Assistant in Nursing writes: I have just read Belinda’s story, Not enough nurses in the nursing home. Wow. It seems this problem is everywhere. But I am gobsmacked to hear there are four members of staff to 30 residents. Where I work we have two per 30 residents! And out of that two, after 13:00 we only have one to do all the care on their own.

Where I work, we AINs no longer have to ask for permission to administer s8 drugs, we also have to attend to dressings. All we have to do is ring our on-duty RN and state where the pain is and how bad it is. We only have an RN on duty up until 17:00-18:00. The rest of the night is in our hands.

We are still showering and changing residents at lunchtime. Most days we do not walk out of work until we have written up on residents’ care and behaviours. We do this in our own time as we get into trouble for not writing notes. We do not have any time some days for breaks. We go home mentally and physically exhausted. We the AIN/CSE are always having family members come to other residents’ rooms demanding we stop what we are doing and attend to their care. I have been asked on occasions where I have just completed an eight-hour shift to work until 23:00 as care staff have rung in sick. I will not do it but some will. And then they expect you to front again at 07:00 to do another eight-hour shift. That is how mistakes happen. They also roster you on for nine to 10 days straight.

I’m sorry for the rant. But all of us AINs need your help. This government needs to stand up and listen. They need to walk a day in our shoes. When we are trained we are told the resident comes first. But we can only do care on one person who is classified as two-person assist at that given time. To get through the day and the care, sometimes staff will toilet a resident and let them sit and go to another resident who is buzzing to go to the toilet. We are the classic case of attending to four-five residents at the same time.

That’s not care, that is continuous rollover like we are working in a factory. Only it’s not a factory it is a nursing home , our residents’ home.

I feel ashamed to even say that I am an AIN in aged care. Most days we find ourselves crying in a laundry or in a pan room because we are letting the residents down, we are incapable of doing the tasks and care set before us.

We are concerned for our residents, who have become our family. We would do any thing for our residents, which includes being run off our feet.

Read about how missed care is widespread in nursing homes and how inadequate skills mix and staffing numbers adversely impacts on residents.

Previously on Nurse Uncut:


  1. I’m not sure about your award but I imagine a lot of the above is in breach and not only dangerous to AINs but dangerous to residents. Have you approached your organiser? This can’t be legal!

  2. I worked in aged care as an RN 10 years ago in a small stand-alone nursing home in Brisbane and it was nothing like this! There were 2 RNs on duty at all times for 60 residents and 4 AINS on both floors with 30 residents, with some overlap between shifts so there were a couple more staff for an hour or so. Even with that, we were running all the time. RNs did all the dressings, all the drug administration, responded to emergencies and paperwork.
    Why on earth are AINs allowed to give any drugs, much less S8, and be given all that other responsibility on their own? As for the staffing…
    I really have no advice for you other than to say I feel so bad for all of you that this dodgy practice is happening. It’s disgusting, unethical and just plain wrong on the part of staff and residents.
    Why this isn’t being discussed at length in the mainstream media, I do not know other than the fact that all people seem to care about these days are the bloody Kardashians.
    Hang in there and take it up with your union as a group.

    • Hi Emma, You are so correct, so many dodgy things happening within the aged care system.
      I have worked in aged care as an RN forever. I now dislike urban life; have worked in different states and regional NSW areas are much better, safer I believe.
      All the world thinks of is bloody Kardashians, social media and reality shows, god help us all.

  3. I worked in an aged care facility and the AIN duties were to look after the residents and give medication. Three AINs morning shift, two AINs afternoon shift, one AIN night shift to 28 residents. RN and community nurse were suppose to help AINs do their duties but never lifted a finger. Took it to union but it’s just a big fight as the organisation, which is a billion dollar worldwide company, refuses to come to the party. It was never the residents’ home as it should be, it ended up being just a workplace where the company gets paid for filling a bed.

  4. So sad but true. I’m an AIN nurse & I’ve got a back & shoulder injury from doing 10 things at once & I’m 33yrs old. I’m lucky if I got a few minutes to spare to drink water or use the toilet. I feel for all the nursing staff & the residents. I can’t wait to find another job that does not involve any kind of nursing job & I’ve been a nurse since I was 22yrs old. I applaud all the nurses everywhere who’s doing all they can. Keep up the good work.


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