NURSES PLEA: Virus safety equitment stolen from our hospital
HAND sanitiser stolen from The Tweed Hospital has sparked an urgent plea from a nurse's union.
Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) have confirmed "there's been unfortunate instances of hospital visitors stealing masks, hand sanitiser, bringing in empty sanitiser containers and filling them with the hospital's supply. Staff are doing everything possible to deter the behaviour".
NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes slammed the behaviour as unacceptable as it left nurses and health staff exposed last week.
He also urged the public not to abuse, spit on or treat health workers like they are infectious just for doing their jobs.
"The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in regional NSW is increasing and nurses and midwives are doing everything they can to look after those who have been hospitalised," Mr Holmes said.
"Please respect all nurses, midwives and other health workers as they go about their important work and also when they are travelling to and from work.
"Please do not treat nurses, midwives and other health workers like they are infectious. These trained professionals should be respected and must not be abused, spat on or assaulted as they move through our communities, to and from their workplaces.
"Nurses, midwives and other health workers are hard at work in our hospitals and other health settings keeping us all safe.
"If you need to visit a hospital, be aware that your access may be limited and you may undergo screening as part of safety measures against the spread of COVID-19 to patients or other hospital staff."
Mr Holmes said it was important for everyone to do their part.
"Please do your part and stay at home where possible, practice social distancing and proper hygiene at all times, and heed the national advice and directives," he said.
"The reality is nurses, midwives and other health workers are extremely aware of their own personal risks as they endeavour to care for others in our hospitals and communities. They deserve respect as they go about their work, and for the work they are doing.
"We can all make a difference in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and from a nursing and midwifery perspective that will save lives - not only the lives of patients but also nurses and midwives."