The last nursing crisis that Australians faced was the Great Australian Worrying in July 2000, when the ABC’s The Drum exposed the true cost of care and how it was costing billions of dollars.
The program revealed how the cost of caring for the elderly and people with dementia was staggering.
Since then, we have had numerous crises, from the coronavirus pandemic, to the introduction of Medicare.
The latest crisis is the pandemic.
As the ABC revealed last week, there is now more than 6.5 million Australians without access to primary care.
While the government is pledging to spend $200 million to support the shortage of primary care, the reality is that it is actually $4 billion a year to subsidise the cost.
The reality is, most Australians are living in fear that the next crisis will cost them more.
That is why I have compiled a list of tips for surviving a nursing disaster.
Read more This week, the ABC interviewed a woman named Rachel, who has lost her mother and is now a nurse.
Rachel had no idea what to expect when she entered nursing.
She was told that she was going to be working in a hospital, but not for six months.
“I was just a nurse, I had no real experience in primary care,” Rachel said.
“And I was a little bit scared because I didn’t know how to talk to anybody.
I had to call them in, I didn´t know what to say.
And I just kind of felt like a total mess.
And then they said, ‘you need to start talking to people, you need to go and talk to the patients’.
And that´s how I started talking to the nurses, the patients, I found out what the situation was.”
Rachel was eventually offered a job in a nursing home.
“They were really supportive, they were really kind, they had a great attitude, and I felt really at home,” she said.
The first nurse who offered Rachel the job was very helpful, Rachel said, and soon she started working with a couple of older women who had lost their husbands and had been living with them.
Rachel’s first patient was a woman with a severe brain injury.
“The first thing that she did was she started crying, she was so upset, she just had tears in her eyes, and she was very confused, she didn’t understand what was going on,” Rachel explained.
“She was really confused, and then she just started saying, ‘well, I just want to go home, I want to be with my husband’, and she went in and she just cried.”
Rachel said the first thing the nursing home nurses asked her to do was get her blood pressure checked, and that was the start of a friendship that was very important to her.
“You know, I knew this person, and they were just very supportive, I would see them in the day and they would be like, ‘oh you are going to come in for the next couple of days, we will help you with anything you need’,” Rachel said of her first patient.
“Because they knew how important this was, they helped me out a lot.
They just helped me through it, they just were really patient with me, they really were really, really helpful.”
The nurses were very kind, Rachel says, but they weren’t helping her out, she said, she needed help.
“It wasn’t about me, it was about them, and it wasn’t really about money.
It was about the people that were hurting.”
Rachel had a difficult time trusting people.
She had a hard time feeling comfortable talking to them, Rachel explained, and the nurses seemed to be trying to be very patient with her.
When the nursing staff asked her how she was doing, Rachel told them that she wasn’t doing well.
“My heart was pounding, I was just crying, and my heart was racing, and you know I was crying because I was so scared, I really was,” Rachel told the ABC.
“All I could do was just sit there, and just try to listen, and not really talk to anyone.
And that was it.”
Rachel also had a few bad days.
She felt like her emotions were being triggered by her friends, so she started to feel suicidal.
“So I went out into the garden, and was just throwing myself off of the roof, and everything was just spinning out of control,” Rachel recalled.
“Then I just thought, ‘okay, this is it, this time it’s over, I can just go home’.
And I did go home and I did get into bed and I went to sleep.”
Rachel says that she and the other nurses, including her, were in shock.
The only people who could understand were the nurses who were helping Rachel, she says.
“Everybody in the nursing centre, they know that I am really upset, and people just wanted to help me.
But nobody knew, nobody cared.
So I was in that