Nurses call for ‘respect’ as COVID-19 spread intensifies


NURSES are calling on the public to be respectful during this stressful time.

NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) general secretary, Brett Holmes, said as more cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to be confirmed across metropolitan and regional parts of NSW, pressure is building on local health services.

"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."

Mr Holmes urged people to be responsible and consider whether they need to access health care.

"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," he said.

"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.

"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.

"Unfortunately, we've heard of many instances where community members have been stealing bottles of hand sanitiser, face masks and other vital resources from hospital wards, leaving nurses and other hospital staff exposed.

"This is not acceptable behaviour.

"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."