Daily struggles of healthcare workers

Sir, – The latest article in the "A Nurse's World" series (February 27th) is a piece that is without doubt written with good intentions at heart. Those of us working in the HSE wish to highlight the daily struggles of the workforce and demonstrate the turmoil in which the system is in.

Despite this, we must acknowledge that no man (or nurse) is an island. Stoic attitudes do not solve problems. Asking for help will. As a non-consultant hospital doctor (NCHD), I am hyper-aware of the lack of support in nursing. But I am also hyper-aware of the crumbling system being held together by the skin of its teeth by scores of disengaged, tired and undersupported medical, nursing, allied health and ancillary staff.

“Us and them” thinking is fuelled by articles that portray a single side to this story. I urge you to portray a different story – of balance. The healthcare assistants’ stories of cleaning a dead body alone. The porters’ stories of being asked to bring four patients to different places all at once. The interns’ stories of reviewing five sick patients overnight with little support and even less sleep. The consultants’ stories of cancelling operations due to bed shortages. The lab technicians’ stories of not having enough staff to cope with the infinite demand on their services. Undervalued staff are everywhere in the system. When the HSE begins to realise that people are its most valuable asset, then we may all have a chance of surviving.

Every frontline staff member is struggling to do the best for the patients in their care, for the most part, in harmony, but none of us can continue to be devalued and demoralised by public divisions. – Yours, etc,





University Hospital Galway.

Sir, – The common sense, compassion and dedication of the anonymous nurse in “A Nurse’s World” would make you wonder why she hasn’t been promoted to running the HSE, or at least advising our Minister of Health on how to do so. The writer deserves as large a readership as possible. – Yours, etc,