Nurse tells of atrocious HSE working conditions and pure exhaustion from lack of staff

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Image source: rtvslo.si

In reply to psychiatric nurse Aoife Butler’s viral post (here) about herself and her colleagues walking to work in last month’s horrendous snow, a midwife posted a heartfelt response to the reality that faces nurses on a daily basis.

I’m very sorry to see that at this early stage in your career you are so disillusioned, I’m trying not to sound condescending when I say WELCOME TO HSE NURSING. As you may notice, I too am a tad disillusioned.
I will begin on a positive note and acknowledge the reasons we all do this job; nursing itself can be a fabulous career. We get the honour of holding someone’s hand in their darkest hour. We get the privilege of strangers trusting you with their lives and that of those they love the most. We get to use our training, knowledge and skills to make a difference and call it our job. What us nurses complain about is not any of the actual aspects of nursing.

It is the conditions; the under-staffing, the overcrowding, the poor salaries (pay cut after pay cut, and tax increases and a higher cost of living), the extra paperwork, the extra responsibilities piled upon nurses year after year, the under-funding for the units in which we work, the stress of leaving a 13 hour shift feeling like you have neglected some of your patients because you had 2 emergencies and 4 admissions and one dying patient. It’s leaving work dehydrated not having taken your breaks and knowing that you will have to do it all again tomorrow. It should be acknowledged that it’s nurses like you Aoife who walked to work in a red weather warning and my nurse friends around the country who slept on trolleys in Outpatient Departments for 3 nights so that they could staff the wards who keep this countries health services running. I’m not sure nurses in other countries would put up with the same conditions

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