Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) members across NSW are being forced to complete clinical notes on their patients in store rooms, hallways and anywhere they can find because hospitals are failing to provide a room for them to write up notes.
Added to that, most hospitals, even the new ones,have no suitable facilities where paramedics can use a microwave or eat a meal.
The Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) is calling on NSW Health to provide meal rooms for paramedics so they can do their work and have a proper meal break.
“Most hospitals in Sydney force us to find anywhere we can to make entries about patients in our lap top computers and we want dedicated spaces for paramedics at all public hospitals,” said APA (NSW) Executive member Liu Bianchi.
Ms Bianchi said at Westmead Hospital paramedics are forced to sit on a footstool or find somewhere in the Emergency Department to complete their clinical notes because the hospital does not provide a dedicated work space for paramedics.
“We are sick of being neglected and paramedics deserve better treatment when bringing patients to hospitals,” Ms Bianchi said.
She said Royal Prince Alfred Hospital had a dedicated paramedics’ room with a low desk and chairs but they now use the space to store wheel chairs.
“Appropriate places to do data entry workwrite treatment notesabout patients is non- existent at our hospitals and our complaints to NSW Health and NSW Ambulance have been ignored,” Ms Bianchi said.
“Paramedics are being given no consideration by NSW Health. At Westmead Hospital we have no access to the nurses’ meal room which requires a Westmead swipe card for entry. The only option is to use a microwave located in the Emergency Ward in full view of patients and families.”
“There are no tables and chairs to eat at so paramedics must either eat standing up in the ambulance bay or inside their ambulances.”
APA (NSW) President Chris Kastelan said the union was concerned that this practice was happening at hospitals around the stateand that designs for recent hospitals had lacked suitable facilities.
“It’s just not good enough to have paramedics sitting on steps or in store-rooms to completedocumentation onpatientrecords,” Mr Kastelan said.
“It is a concern that hospitals have not designated an area where paramedics can do theircomputerwork, heat up a meal or even have a cup of tea.”
APA (NSW) is calling on NSW Health to provide appropriate facilities for paramedics at all public hospitals.