How low will they go?

26 Aug 2015 2:09 PM
How low will they go?

The government is considering major changes to the nursing profession - read more

We don't normally voice political views here on the DP Training blog but the issue of cutting penalty rates to nurses and decreasing the numbers of Registered Nurses (RN) in Aged Care facilities (ACF) is one that may affect our profession in a big way

There are many Facebook pages and websites devoted to these issues, like Nurses Uncut and the NSW Nurses Union, and the posts are gaining momentum. More and more ACF's and residents are posting up photos like this one on this link http://tinyurl.com/penaltyrates every week. Shift work in Nursing is the norm and many students don't get how shift work will affect their social and family life till after placement when it becomes very real. After 15 shifts of a mixture of 6am and 2pm starts and the associated tiredness, students definitely work out if they can handle the pace, the hours and flow on affect to their life.

Trainers talk about the hours , the stress and how to look after yourself, many times throughout the course but it doesn't usually sink in till after placement. So if the current government cuts penalty rates and allows ACF to decide how many hours an RN will be on duty then big changes are afoot and some AIN's may reconsider their career. As the article link below states 'Nursing is not a lifestyle choice'. You don't go into Nursing for the money either, you do it because you want a job you can truly love - one that is not sedentary, is stimulating and has many career paths.

Plus Nursing has been voted the most respected profession many many times over. The other issue re. decreasing RN hours will leave many residents and AIN's more stressed as there will not be the high standard of care available now which is due to a team effort of the AIN's and the RN's on the floor 24/7. It will mean more upskilling is needed for AIN's particularly in observations and medications which should result in higher pay, but this will be out of balance with the increased responsibility.

Plus it may mean more hospital visits for some residents who have no RN available to see them in their ACF. View the article here>> http://tinyurl.com/nursingisnotalifestylechoice