Aged Care: Time for 24/7 Registered Nurses

Friday 5th February, 2016

A Registered Nurse (RN) on-duty in all nursing homes - 24/7!

That’s the message the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is sending to the upcoming Federal Senate Inquiry in to the future of Australia’s aged care workforce, to ensure we have dignity for older Australians living in aged care facilities.

With a rapidly ageing population, ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said it was now crucial that the Inquiry investigate Regulations for RNs to be working 24/7 at all stand-alone aged care facilities, as was recommended by a NSW Government Upper House Inquiry late last year.

“The rostering of a RN should be based on the high-care needs of patients, not on the discretion of the aged care facility’s operator,” Ms Thomas said today.

“It’s scandalous that on any given night at nursing homes across the country, a single care worker with minimal training can be looking after 30-50 frail, vulnerable patients with complex, chronic conditions and many with Dementia.

“RNs are essential in prescribing multiple medications, wound care and performing procedures and providing palliative care.

“The quality care RNs deliver means that their patients can continue to be treated in nursing homes and avoid the need to be transferred to a hospital emergency department.

“The ANMF is calling on the Senate Inquiry to investigate RNs 24/7 at nursing homes to ensure older Australians get the dignity they deserve.

“We’re encouraging nurses, aged care workers, community groups and consumers to lend their support and make a Submission to the Inquiry.

“Our voices must be heard.”

For more information on how to make a Submission, you can go to: http://anmf.org.au/pages/lee-thomas-message

The ANMF, with almost 250,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.

ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.