It’s a cliché but it’s true, that nurses are some of the real heroes of this pandemic. Twenty-four hours a day, every day, since the start of Covid our nurses have fronted up to care for us despite exhaustion. frustration with their routinely under-resourced workplaces and the very real risk of infection. So I say thank you, as a community we’re so grateful that you have kept our hospitals, and other health services running, and put our health ahead of your own.
So you’d think, in times like these, when their value is so obvious, that nurses would not have to fight for decent pay. But they do, especially here in Tasmania, where there’s a nurse shortage because the State Government pays so little compared with mainland states resulting in nurses working double shifts and skipping breaks. No wonder our nurse workforce is aging and there’s a dire need to invest in more graduates and recruitment.
Moreover nurses working outside of hospitals throughout Australia take home even less pay and are expected to carry huge responsibility and workloads. For example in aged care there needs to be better wages and minimum staff time with residents, with at least 40 minutes of that care-time with a nurse, and a nurse on site 24 hours a day.
Look frankly nurses care for us when we are at our lowest. It’s way beyond time we recognised this.