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COVID-19 second wave: Nurses are under severe pressure as they face a serious shortage of nursing staff in hospitals

Even after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no significant change in the condition of the nurses. On the contrary, it has only moved to more misery than ever before.

Pat Cullen, Director of the Royal College of Nursing in Northern Ireland, said nurses are currently under intense pressure in all areas, unlike what they experienced in COVID-19 first wave.

As the country is heading into the second wave of COVID-19, there is a serious shortage of nurses and most of the staff are also infected by the virus, she said.

“This is a very worrying situation and has created pressure we did not have the first time around,” added the head of the largest nurses’ union, Pat Cullen.

There have been a number of recent reports of an increase in COVID-19 among health workers in Ireland, and especially among nurses. By the time the second wave of COVID-19 and the winter illness had come together, the hospital did not have enough facilities, beds and staff. The government has not even heeded the demands raised by the nurses on several occasions.

Intensive care units have serious problems with getting enough nursing staff to fill shifts. Because of this, nurses have to work longer hours, Ms. Cullen said. In addition, the district and community nursing, and our emergency departments are under pressure, she said.

“Staff are exhausted and there is no doubt this will have a toll on their mental and physical health.”

“Our members are very concerned about the impact this is having on services and would ask the public to be patient. Nursing staff are doing the very best they can under very strained circumstances,” she added.

Dr. Tom Black, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Northern Ireland Council said the increase in COVID-19 cases would adversely affect hospitals and the lack of available staff and periodic pressures would exacerbate the crisis. He warned that the coming month would be even worse.

Hospitals need more support with more restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading. “We need to make it very clear to the public that we have a very, very difficult month ahead of us,” Dr. Black added.

The NI health officials had said that there are currently 360 inpatients who have tested positive for Covid-19. This is the highest number since the onset of the pandemic.

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