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New Zealand: Nurses' protest Facebook page nearly shut down twice - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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New Zealand: Nurses' protest Facebook page nearly shut down twice by katty : March 20, 2018, 10:14:11 PM
Nurses behind a Facebook page set up to discuss the struggles of the job say they are more determined than ever to have their voices heard, after the page was almost shut down twice in two weeks.

They said the message of support for the page - set up under the pseudonym Florence Smith - has 40,000 members and it has spurred them to launch a petition and plan nationwide protests.

One of the nurses who runs the page works in the psychiatric and mental health ward.

She said in five and a half years on the job, she's been assaulted four times - three of which required time off work, with two incidents resulting in a concussion.

That doesn't include the verbal and mental abuse and her partner is also sick of it, she said.

"He's always worried [whether] today is going to be another day when I [tell] him, 'I have to go get checked out after being assaulted or punched in the head'," she said.

"It's not pleasant for either of us, not pleasant for him and his personal life, having that stress and worrying about me all the time."

The nurse said she was inspired by midwives and their Dear David campaign, which saw the Health Minister move to improve pay and conditions for them.

She said it was mindblowing to see the support the page has received since it was created, but there has also been backlash.

The page has nearly been shut down twice already after a third party reported it to Facebook and the group were forced to prove they were real people, she said.

"I got this message from her [the other admin for the page] going, 'Oh my goodness we've been reported, what do we do?' and we went, 'What's the pros and cons, we can't not be anonymous out of fear [of reprecussions]'."

"But whoever or whatever is going on, someone is very determined to have the movement shut down."

The nurse said that has only fuelled their drive to demand change from the government.

The petition has more than 15,000 signatures and the nurse said it is separate from the District Health Board pay deal public nurses are currently voting on.

She said along with the marches planned for mid-May, they are calling for better security and pay and more training for staff to deal with crisis situations.

A nurse who is leaving the profession after eight years said some staff have had to work in unreasonable conditions.

He said once, while on a night shift, a colleague received a call to say her brother had died, but the bed manager wouldn't let her leave.

"After she came up she told this nurse it was too late to replace her and if she left, it would be 'unsafe working numbers' [and] would be unfair to go home and leave her colleagues," he said.

"So we continued the shift with 'safe staffing numbers' while she was inconsolable for four more hours."

Another Auckland-based nurse who works in a rest home said it takes a huge toll on her when she is expected to handle deaths on any given day at work.

"Some of the residents, we do get attached to unintentionally because they've been there for a while or there's some sort of common bond," she said.

"But ... when people pass away it affects us emotionally."

In a statement the Minister for Health David Clark said he understands the pressure nurses are feeling after nine years of underfunding.

But he said the current government won't be able to achieve everything it wants to in its first budget.

Source : Radio NZ

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