Nurse injured in staff shortage sues hospital
A FORMER nurse manager is suing Ipswich Hospital, claiming she was injured on the job during a severe shortage of staff and that management did not employ more people despite her constant pleas.
Between 2000 and 2010 the nurse manager, who worked in the endoscopy suite at Ipswich Hospital, said she constantly told her bosses that her unit was short staffed and made continuous requests for more people.
The woman claims she was forced to do clinical work that was beyond her required duties and she received three injuries on the job.
She no longer works and is now suing the hospital for damages.
Court documents before Brisbane District Court show the 52-year-old woman received a neck injury in 2008 after lifting oxygen cylinders onto hospital beds.
A few days later she was required to push down on a recliner chair for about 15-20 minutes after a patient collapsed and she had to clear the patient's airway.
The woman told her bosses about her injuries and emphasised the danger of not having a wardsperson to assist.
Another nurse had also been injured on the job around the same time, court documents said.
The following year, an extra staff member was employed.
But in July 2012, despite telling staff she did not feel comfortable helping lift a patient because of her injuries, she was told she had to, court documents said.
It is alleged many staff members were away on sick leave at the time.
The woman injured her neck again when helping move the patient and was hospitalised for a week. She later required surgery, court documents said, and she returned to work about seven months later.
The woman said her role as manager meant she was supposed to spend 5% of her time on clinical work and the remaining 95% on managerial work.
But she said: "I would end up spending about 85% of my day doing clinical work due to the inadequate staffing".
Court documents said between 2000 and 2006 the woman submitted five requests each year for extra staff because "staff levels were very low and the unit grew significantly".
She is claiming damages from the hospital.
The case is currently before the Brisbane District Court.
- APN NEWSDESK