IN last week’s paper I shined the spotlight on the current nurse crisis in our hospitals and why many new graduate nurses couldn’t get a permanent contract.
Some former students have waited years to get a contract and many others had reached the point where they just walked away from critical care to find a full-time job elsewhere.
My comments came from interviews I have done with young nurses about what is happening in the nursing ranks in Queensland.
None of those I spoke with could go on the record, but they were anxious to let people know about the lack of government funding for nurses.
They also wanted to highlight that there were nurses out there desperately seeking permanent roles.
My editorial also revealed we currently have more than 3000 students undertaking medical courses at University of SQ and what the situation would be for them when they went looking for a job.
Prior to writing my comment piece I reached out some weeks ago to West Moreton Health to get their feedback on current nursing issues.
HERE ARE THE FIVE OFTHE SIX QUESTIONS I ASKED THEM:
- The numbers of nurses at Ipswich Hospital?
- How many are only on casual contracts?
- How many nurses were recruited on permanent contracts to the hospital since Jan 2021?
- How many nurses have resigned since Jan 2021?
- How many university nursing graduates received employment offers since Jan 2021 and how many of these were permanent contracts.
Here is their short reply to my questions which they asked to be attributed to interim Chief Executive Hannah Bloch.
Future of nursing roles in West Moreton Health:
Nursing as a profession is a critical part of the health workforce. This has never been more the case than at present in the West Moreton region as we plan for the growing needs of our population.
At present, nurses make up approximately 52 per cent of our staff. This will continue to be the case as our Hospital and Health Service plans to double its size over the next 15 years.
We recognise job security is important for graduates.
Queensland Health employs all nursing graduates for a one-year temporary contract as part of its formal graduate program.
There will always be a need for a casual workforce to manage fluctuating demands of service, however, West Moreton Health’s commitment to job security provides pathways for long-term casuals to obtain permanent roles in the Hospital and Health Service.
Current and future nursing students can plan for a rewarding career at West Moreton Health.
I will let you draw your own conclusions from this reply to my succinct questions.
You will no doubt have noted that the reply skirted the questions and neglected to give any statistics.
Once again, we must ask what the government is doing to fund much needed nurses for our hospitals and why are over-worked nurses having to cover the shortfall.