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    Dorothy Kamaker

    “…the route to satisfied patients is through satisfied nursing staff, with studies showing that patients’ interactions with nurses are the number-one strongest predictor of patient satisfaction scores”. This is an area ripe for exploration and remediation. I left clinical ICU nursing 2 years ago and had seen a real decline in morale amongst nurses in the 5 years prior to that. “Satisfaction” doesn’t equate with “nice” or “empathetic”, it means that the nurse:patient interaction has positive outcomes. Satisfactory interactions are not congenial chats. They are healthcare events that are vital for patient well being.
    Patients need their needs met and their healthcare outcomes prioritised. Too often, nurses are unable to achieve those outcomes, for multiple reasons. Frequently they do not have time. They do not have autonomy to make decisions and initiate strategies. They do not have management support. There is a real sense of despair and futility for many nurses. Many young graduates leave and pursue more rewarding careers and the older nurses (average age 44 years!!!) are increasingly becoming demoralised.

    There has been a total absence if leadership in nursing at a policy level. Where are the nursing statesmen? When did I last open a major newspaper and read an interesting, insightful opinion piece about the state of the nursing profession in NSW?

    Dorothy Kamaker MN RN


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