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Two-Thirds of Nurses in Ireland Contemplate Leaving Their Jobs

Understaffed: Unable to cope with excessive workload and stress

Dublin: The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s (INMO) Work and Wellbeing Survey has revealed alarming levels of stress and overwork among Ireland’s nursing staff, with two-thirds considering quitting their jobs due to understaffing and excessive workloads. The INMO is urging the government to implement fundamental policy changes to prevent a potential collapse of the health sector.

A staggering 90% of nurses cite patient safety as their primary concern, with the associated stress proving detrimental to their well-being. The survey indicates that 63% of nurses have contemplated leaving their positions due to the untenable conditions.

Overwork and Unpaid labour

Nurses are being compelled to work beyond their scheduled hours and shifts, often without compensation. More than 15% of nurses report working over 20 hours per month without pay. The strain is so severe that one in eight nurses has sought medical attention from a GP for workplace-related stress.

The survey paints a bleak picture of Ireland’s healthcare landscape, with nurses and midwives experiencing extreme stress and contemplating job abandonment. Despite these clear signs of crisis, the government and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have yet to take meaningful action.

Calls for Government and HSE Action

Phil Ni Sheaghdha, General Secretary of the INMO, emphasised the urgent need for government and HSE intervention to address the negative impact of unsafe staffing levels on patient care. Health professionals are striving to improve services, but increased bed capacity and staffing quotas are essential to alleviate the current pressures.

INMO President Karen McGowan highlighted the survey’s findings, underscoring that Irish nurses and midwives are in a fight for survival, still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. She described the healthcare environment as a battleground for these dedicated professionals.

Bernard Gloucester, CEO of the HSE, was invited to the INMO’s annual conference, where he had been warmly welcomed the previous year. Nurses had hoped for significant interventions to alleviate their work pressures, but no substantial changes have been forthcoming.

The survey results underscore an urgent need for comprehensive reforms to support Ireland’s nurses and midwives, whose well-being is crucial for the stability and safety of the country’s healthcare system.

Irish Samachar English News

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