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November 28, 2008

Elder Care: Despair Forces Aged Care Nurses to Quit (Australia)

Despair forces aged care nurses to quit
By Grant McArthur
November 28, 2008

CONCERN for the welfare of nursing home residents are driving many aged care nurses out of their jobs, and almost a third are thinking about quitting the profession.
Aged care nurses have told Melbourne University researchers they are "emotionally exhausted" and suffering from excessive workloads, cost-cutting, hostile environments and competing demands in the workplace.

The study of 1000 registered nurses, in conjunction with the Australian Nursing Federation, found aged care homes needed to drastically improve training and human resource management.

Assoc Prof Leisa Sargent said the biggest cause of stress was the fact the nurses could not provide adequate care to residents due to cost-cutting by their employers.
"The staff aren't being able to provide the care they want to, and believe is their duty to give," she said. "They can't give the care they want because they are spread too thin and they also perceive that management don't care about the residents.

"They are reducing the quality of the food to save money, portion sizes, turning off the airconditioning to save money, turning down or off the heating.

"Those that are most skilled and can move are moving out of aged care into acute care or other forms of nursing where they feel they can make a meaningful contribution."

SOURCE: The Herald Sun
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