Nurses forced to do more overtime, says union

By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.com.au

CENTRAL Queensland nurses are being forced to work an excessive amount of overtime, according to the Queensland Nurses Union.

Union representative Glenda Ross said the workload and hours nurses worked were becoming too much.

She said every city in Queensland continued to suffer nurse shortages, and there was simply not enough nurses to fill the positions.

'It has to come down to either hospitals reducing the number of patients or nurses will be expected to continually do longer hours,' she said.

'I understand that in every job at some point overtime is needed however it becomes an issue when it continues on a day-by-day basis.'

She said the winter season exacerbate the problem with some times half the nurses at a hospital calling in sick.

'Sometimes half of the nursing staff can be sick at any one hospital, and without having any casual nurses, the workload is then left with the other nurses who are on duty,' she said.

She said the excessive amount of overtime the nurses were being forced to work was also putting patients at risk. She said when nurses were working longer hours they tended to become over-worked and tired.

"Being in this state of mind, they take the risk of making errors which is every nurse's nightmare,' she said.

'We all hate making errors especially when it comes to the health of our patients.'



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