By JANICE HARRIS
ORANGE’s mental health nurses are urging the community to support their bid to get more staff on the wards at Bloomfield.
The nurses have begun an intensive two-week campaign to get signatures for a petition lobbying for imroved staff-to-patient ratios.
Nurse Lyn Murphy, who has been working in general and mental health for more than 44 years, says mental health patients are often more physically challenging for hospital staff, and it is crucial to have enough staff on duty to deal with agitated patients.
“Many of the clients are quite acute and have a lot more issues,” she said.
“We have, of course, lost one of our nurses on the job in the last couple of years following an attack.”
Ms Murphy said mental health nurses in metropolitan areas were more likely to get improved staff-to-patient ratios while regional areas were lagging behind.
“We are just asking to be treated equally, to have the same ratios as in the city,” she said.
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Orange branch secretary Luke Marks said on the first day of action in Post Office Lane on Friday, people were keen to show their support by signing the petition.
“We hope people will continue to come forward and support us,” he said.
The nurses will be in Post Office Lane on Thursday from 10am with their petition.
They also intend to have a stand outside Bunnings on the weekend.