Nurses and midwives across New South Wales went on strike on Thursday to protest the nurse-to-patient ratio, which has continued to widen, with around 40 protesting on Argent St.
Nurses hope the protest will put pressure on the government help solve what the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNW) says are mounting pressures facing nurses in emergency departments, maternity wards and hospitals around the country.
They make the point that nurse to patient ratios is a critical safety issue that has real impacts.
At the protest, we caught up with the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association Broken Hill Branch president, Brianna Braga.
“Today we are striking for the third time this year. We are trying to raise awareness for safe nurse to patient ratios,” she said.
“We have been fighting for years and still the government is not listening to us.
“We have seen one nurse take care of eight to 10 patients on the ward, and the same in ED (emergency department) as well.”
The patient-midwife ratio is even worse, according to Ms Braga.
“For midwives, they are looking after at least six mothers, but the problem is babies aren’t counted.
So, if you are looking after six mothers, you are looking after a minimum of six babies as well, making the ratio one to 12],” Ms Braga said.
The nurses are hoping to reach a point where the ratios are at a much more manageable level.
“We are hoping for a ratio of one to four in the wards, one to three in the ED, and one to two in both maternity and ICU.”
The 24-hour strike ran from 7am Thursday September 1.