A letter to our Federal and State Government to take immediate action on COVID-19
Our Nurses and Health Professionals need your support so they can care for Australians during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We urge you to put the following actions in place before the full force of the pandemic arrives.
Test all new patients and health professionals. Significant numbers of carriers show no symptoms or very mild symptoms. You need to find a supplier immediately who can guarantee the supply of at least a million test kits asap.
- Make available proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to nurses and health care workers exposed to Covid-19. “NO PPE – NO WORK” This means that you need to source PPE suppliers who can guarantee a supply of 10 million masks for Queensland alone each week. That is 50 million a week for Australia. By the time you get this letter, Queensland will have just about run out.
- Provide comprehensive training in the use of PPE for all nurses working in areas with high exposure to Covid-19.
Reduce shifts because wearing PPE for 12 hours without a toilet and meal breaks will be unsustainable.
- Bring back showers and hospital laundered uniforms. No uniform should leave the hospital. You need to protect Nurses families and their communities.
- All Nurses over 60, immune-compromised, pregnant, with cancer history and respiratory problems, are exempt from Covid-19 patients and given the option to move to non-Covid-19 areas.
- Health professionals caring for Covid-19 patients should at no stage be caring for any non-Covid-19 patients.
Make accommodation and meals available to nurses and doctors working with Covid-19 patients who want to protect their family from the virus.
- Nurses who contract Covid-19 while at work will be entitled to leave for the period of their recovery.
- Provide extra security for nurses from the public – there is an increasing number of physical and verbal assaults.
Stop denying nurses access to PPE in this crisis and support them.
- Azythromycin has proven to be helping with pneumonia and a decreased need for ventilation. It is in low supply. You need to source millions of doses.
This situation is unprecedented and policies will vary throughout workplaces.
Follow the order of critical thinking for professional Nurses
Safety: protect yourself first. You cannot care for patients if you become unwell.
- If you feel safety is compromised ask your manager for the protocols then complete an incident form.
- If you are showing symptoms let your employer know and call 1800 020 080
Research : you are a Professional capable of researching the information to make an informed decision.
- Refer below to COVID-19 Government websites.
Family first : let your employer know if you need to be home to care for children, elderly etc.
- The Government is aware that 30% of healthcare workers will be unavailable.
- Leave entitlements : for quarantine, self-isolation, family reasons, or high-risk candidates.
- Ask and follow directives from your employer.
Protect yourself at work
Keep up to date with any training that is being distributed in the workplace.
Ensure that you are familiar with the correct procedure in dealing with tainted PPE: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0035/945755/covid19-correct-use-ppe.pdf
Please also note the QLD Government's directive about conservation of PPE: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/946373/covid19-ppe-conserving.pdf
When do you have the right to refuse a task?
If you believe your own personal health or safety is at risk.
What should I do if someone presents as positive with COVID-19 or with the known symptoms and no PPE is available?
Advise your line manager you will be observing 'social distancing' until you have been provided with suitable PPE.
Remember workplace safety and the Hierarchy of Hazard Control measures
What to do if symptoms are displayed?
IMPORTANT: If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19.
QLD Health Employees
You may be directed to work from home if self-isolation is required. If you are not sick, you can access discretionary special leave through myHR. If you are required to perform the role of a carer for a dependant, you may be able to access carer's leave - note this will diminish your sick leave entitlements. As soon as you develop symptoms or become sick - contact your doctor to arrange an appointment. You will be required to then take sick leave. If you can prove that you have caught the illness in your direct line of work, please get in touch as you may be able to access WorkCover.
Private sector nurses
You may be directed to work from home if self-isolation is required. If you are not sick, the general rule is that you should be stood down on full pay. If you are required to perform the role of a carer for a dependant, you may be able to access carer's leave - note this will diminish your sick leave entitlements. If you do develop symptoms or become sick - contact your doctor to arrange an appointment. You will be required to then take sick leave. If you can prove that you have caught the illness in your direct line of work, please get in touch as you may be able to access WorkCover.
What is the NPAQ doing?
NPAQ is researching PPE and Test Kit suppliers and referring them to the Minister for Health.
Urgent request to Government for support of Nurses and Health Professionals
Worksafe / Workcover Queensland
Aged Care Restrictions and Vaccination FAQs
Federal Government Resources
JobKeeper Payment Information
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