NURSES AND CARERS ABUSED, BULLIED AND HARASSED – THE ‘SCAPEGOATS’ FOR THE CRISIS IN AGED CARE
Overworked nurses and carers are being spat at in the street, abused in shopping centres and physically and emotionally harassed and vilified, being made the ‘scapegoats’ for the crisis in aged care, according to a new national survey of thousands of residential aged care workers, released today.
Conducted by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) The National Aged Care Survey (the ‘Survey’), revealed how nursing home workers are unfairly being harassed and bullied with a new intensity as a result of shocking evidence exposed in the Royal Commission and on Four Corners, whilst aged care providers and governments weren’t being held accountable for the systemic failures in aged care.
Over 2,700 aged care workers participated in the Survey, between 26 March-12 April this year, with participants asked to outline their main concerns about the current dire situation in residential aged care: 90% said inadequate staffing to provide basic care of residents;
· 90% said inadequate staffing to provide basic care to residents;
· 61% said lack of experience/qualifications of staff;
· 51% said current Commonwealth funding;
· 38% said greater transparency/accountability for Commonwealth funding;
· 36% said quality/amount of food for residents.
In heart-breaking detail, nurses and carers recounted the suffering of elderly residents, who weren’t given basic care as a result of chronic understaffing and how staff were the ones being unfairly blamed by their employers – for the providers’ own inadequacies, with government offering little, or no support:
“Violence and aggression toward staff, especially towards carers by residents with dementia and mental illness.”
“Bullying, intimidation and scapegoating from management, which reduces everyone’s confidence, which in turn can also affect how we work for our residents …”
“Ongoing excessive workloads for nurses and carers … “
“Staff are being intimidated by management/ACFI co-ordinator … Often I am requested to lie when I do clinical paperwork so we get more funding.”
“3 carers and just 1 RN for more than 140 residents overnight.”
“Residents missing out being fed, toileted … residents being parked in front of TV in dementia wings.”
“Residents sit in wet pads for hours because there aren’t enough staff on the floor.”
“We are understaffed, underpaid and overworked.”