Columnist Mattie Fox says nurses are getting a raw deal
About a year ago I had the privilege of being at the bedside of a dear friend during his final hours.
It was in Mullingar Hospital, and his unexpected demise was, at a relatively young age, sad for all those who were close to him.
I will never forget the respect, care and dignity with which a very stretched, overworked staff of nurses afforded him.
It was late evening when I got there but, at regular intervals, a nurses head would appear round the door, to check on the patient and on the family’s needs.
At one stage what I will call a “mature” nurse came in, talked gently to the patient, gave him a warm hug and assured him that all would be well.
He was made as comfortable as possible, and while she chatted to us, continued to stroke his arm in a motherly fashion.
It transpired that she should have been gone home two hours earlier but “how could I leave these two very young nurses to do everything?” she said, as she explained, they were short staffed, once again.
Her dedication to humanity left us speechless.
Dealing with life and death on a daily basis, this fine lady, despite being overworked, and I believe underpaid, was not going to leave her post until all was well.
These are the calibre of people meeting and nursing the sick in our society, and they deserve our fullest support and respect.It breaks my heart when I consider the vast amounts of money thrown out to ‘buy’ votes before the recent elections.
Add to this the amount of compensation paid out for medical ‘mishaps’ over recent years and ask yourself : just how many nurses and doctors could have been employed with such an amount?
The people of this Irish republic deserve better and the present medical staff certainly do too.