Like spit

Last week, an email arrived for Ida Gerø (33) and her colleagues in the cardiology department at Rikshospitalet:

Starting April 1, hospitals will not use hired surrogates.

Now Gerø doesn’t understand how things are going at work.

– On the night shift on weekends, we must have at least six people on duty, and currently at least two are substitutes. Then there will be a lot of extra and double shifts left for us, he said.

Gerø is very concerned about whether he will be able to make as much patient contact as possible, which he thinks is important to be able to provide patients with the right and best care.

– Ideas for solutions to staffing problems are urgently needed. It seems no plans have been made. We were not heard, and there was no time to sit down and talk to management, said the nurse.

– Not taken seriously

– Something must be done

Health and care minister Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap) announced in a speech in January that hospitals will have to tighten their finances by 2023.

At the same time, he asked hospitals, among other things, to consider cutting certain treatment services, and significantly reducing the use of substitutes.

The speech generated a massive backlash, and on Tuesday last week nurse Helene Dahl Karlsen, 29, mobilized several people within the health care system for a demonstration outside the Storting.

“HEALTH BRÖLET”: More than 1,000 showed up for a demonstration outside the Storting on Tuesday last week. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB
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The “cry for health” was initiated by him and other healthcare workers, patients and relatives who were fed up with politicians’ cuts. According to Dahl Karlsen, there were up to 2,000 participants in the demonstration.

The demands of “Helsebrølet” included, among other things, that the government come up with a health promotion that better prepares nurses, that waiting times should be reduced, the budget should be increased, the retention and recruitment of critical health workers, and that the government stop cuts in the health care system. .

– I was touched by the unity we felt during “Hellesbrølet”. His response simply indicated that something had to be done, he said Dal Karlsen to Dagbladet.

– Not safe

He believes that the cuts in the health care system will affect everyone.

– Eventually you can’t take it anymore in the end. After working double shifts myself, it’s like being drunk. It’s not safe for anyone. I have epilepsy on the bottom, so it’s not a very good combination. There will be more of this in the future, and I don’t know how it will hold up in the long term, said Dahl Karlsen.

ASK: Nurse Helene Dahl Karlsen (30) believes nurses have repeatedly tried to tell the government that many are worried about the future.  He believes the Minister of Health is not listening to what they have to say.  Private photo

ASK: Nurse Helene Dahl Karlsen (30) believes nurses have repeatedly tried to tell the government that many are worried about the future. He believes the Minister of Health is not listening to what they have to say. Private photo
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Gerø also believes the cuts will have a major impact on family life.

– We are vulnerable on weekends, and this year I work on average every second weekend. You become popular with managers, but unpopular at home, he said and added:

– I have a lot of advantages, so everything is going well for now. But if I can already feel it eating away at me, I can only imagine how other people must feel. I understand that some people don’t stick around.

Lack of explanation

In February, 14 of 24 intensive care nurses in the heart department of Ullevål Hospital voted to resign in protest.

At the same time, 72 percent of nurses answered that they were considering quitting nursing or changing jobs, in a survey conducted by Nursing in 2021.

- It's outside

– It’s outside

Neither Gerø nor Dahl Karlsen wanted to quit what they described as “the best job in the world”. Nevertheless, the latter believes that people will see a mass exodus from the healthcare system in the future if the government doesn’t hear about it.

– I lack a clear explanation of why the government believes that years of work and temporary workers in the health sector should be removed, and I am concerned about what this means for municipal health services, said Gerø and added:

– It makes no sense that on the one hand you say you need more nursing students, but on the other hand you reduce staff. This is simply bad advertising for this profession.

Dahl Karlsen said nurses tried many times to talk about the nurses’ situation, and many were worried about the future.

– It’s like spitting, he said.

– Must prioritize properly

In an e-mail to Dagbladet, Health and Care Minister Ingvild Kjerkol wrote that nurses do an important job and that professional efforts are essential to good health and care services across the country.

– We must retain skilled professionals. And we must ensure the correct use of skills and professionals, more full time and the proper division of labor among all professional groups. This is work we are doing. We must prioritize correctly, use appropriate technology and produce better interactions and more comprehensive organizations, he wrote.

Current to Norway: - Be responsible

Current to Norway: – Be responsible

Furthermore, Kjerkol pointed out that the government has put forward plans to increase both full-time and good staff in nursing services.

– We want to help the city government overcome the shortage of professionals in both the short and long term. It could be about division of labor, shared positions and the right to full-time employment, he wrote.

Kjerkol pointed out that the government wants to maintain and further develop its good offering in hospitals and health services. They will also facilitate good working conditions for employees.

– As you know, we will propose an increase in the allocation to hospitals in the RNB, but we know that adjustments still need to be made in many places. This is necessary both to return to operating conditions similar to the pre-pandemic period and to create space for different priorities in individual hospitals, he wrote.

Georgie Burke

"Music maven. Evil pop culture lover. Unapologetic creator. Friend of animals everywhere."

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