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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Staff shortages at St. Vincent’s Hospital force nurses to use baby monitors for patients

Nurses working at St. Vincent’s ICU have stated that chronic staff shortages have resulted in baby monitors being used for patients.

The vast shortages have pushed nurses to the “breaking point”, stating that highlighting concerns with senior management about the shortages have not been satisfactorily resolved, forcing them to go public “as a last resort”.

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Hospitals across the country are undergoing huge pressure as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation reported that overcrowding levels at hospitals are at their highest since the pandemic began.

Nurses told The Journal that baby monitors have been used for patients in ICU since earlier this year as these patients require consistent and high-level care.

One nurse stated, “If you need to leave a patient for 10 minutes to get the supplies that you need – drugs and other things – your patient might wake up and accidentally pull out their tubes,”.

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In relation to the staff shortage situation, the nurse stated, “Many of our colleagues are understandably burnt out from working through Covid so there is a lot of sick leave right now. The issue is that when we complain to senior management the line is ‘we’re recruiting’ but the staff levels remain inadequate.”

Responding to the nurse’s claims, a spokesperson for St. Vincent’s University Hospital stated, “The safety and welfare of patients under the care of St Vincent’s University Hospital is of paramount importance always. St Vincent’s University Hospital rejects absolutely the allegations made concerning patient care in our hospital.”

Although a number of hospitals used baby monitors at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the nurses that The Journal spoke to stated that they have consistently used them since April 2021.

IMAGE – “Two nurses transporting a bed down a hospital corridor” is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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