Port Macquarie Base Hospital nurses will go on strike for the fourth time this year as the staffing crisis continues to worsen.
Nurses will walk off the job for 24 hours from 7am on Wednesday, November 23.
President of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) Port Macquarie Base Hospital branch Mark Brennan said the patient to nurse ratio is "unsafe and scary".
"Nurses are being pressured to take on more patients," he said. "There are 20 patients to three nurses."
Mr Brennan said Port Macquarie Base Hospital is now too small to accommodate our growing population.
"Our region has grown so much and now we're putting patients, as well as nursing staff, at risk," he said.
"Nurses are pressured to take on more patients to clear ED. Nurses are crying and breaking down and taking more and more sick leave because of it."
Mr Brennan said he knows of one nurse who was the most senior person on a ward and only had four new grads to assist them.
"They're fresh out of university. It's dangerous."
Port Macquarie nurses will join the statewide strike following the months of the NSWNMA's protracted talks with the NSW government.
Nursing staff at Port Macquarie Base Hospital will run on night shift staffing numbers during the 24-hour strike, with nurses providing and ensuring life-saving care to patients.
There will also be a rally held at Town Green at 10am on Wednesday, November 23.
NSWMMA General Secretary Shaye Candish said nurses and midwives are tired of being ignored over calls for safe staffing, better working conditions and fair pay.
"Since our first statewide strike on February 15, nurses and midwives have gone above and beyond to put patient care ahead of their own basic needs. Shift after shift they have continued, burdened by short staffing and constant requests for overtime," she said.
"At the end of March, we held a second statewide strike after the NSW government failed to engage in meaningful talks about shift by shift nurse-to-patient ratios to ensure safe patient care.
"Following our third statewide strike on September 1, NSW Labor announced its Safe Staffing policy, a commitment that will see improvements in emergency departments, ICUs, maternity services and Multipurpose Services, and the introduction of shift by shift staffing levels in most wards and units."
Ms Candish said this prompted talks with the NSW government.
"However, it is now mid-November and no real solutions have been offered to address the health staffing or workload crisis," she said.
The NSWNMA confirmed it would continue meeting with the NSW government to discuss members' demands for safe staffing ratios and improved working conditions.
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