– The wards and nurses I spoke to are very sad and very frustrated, says Anita Borstad, intensive care nurse and store hostess at UNN in Tromsø.
On Wednesday, 30 intensive care nurses at Tromsø Hospital received a text message from their leader. She said they missed a day off at Christmas.
– They really didn’t expect this. They worked a lot of overtime and really stood up and looked forward to the little Christmas break, says Borstad.
Requirements for free
The reason why 30 out of 133 intensive care nurses lost days off is the demanding operational situation in intensive care units, according to GNI Bertheussen, chief of staff at UNN.
– We have long had major challenges associated with covering all rangers. So, we told our tenants that they should consider whether they can take all of their vacation days, even though we’re now entering a vacation where we understand employees want time off, Bertiussen says.
The days off that nurses lose are holidays or other days of leave that the employee is entitled to. According to Bertheusen, these vacation days will be postponed if they are not allowed to cancel them this year.
Borstad believes the challenge can be solved in a smarter way.
High pressure, little compensation
Rather than denying the nurses a day off, Borstad believes it could be voluntarily dissolved.
– It would have been better if we were well compensated for additional income. This is how we make it go otherwise. If people don’t go for extra guards, Borstad says, they won’t.
She believes that this will cause individuals to lose some spark.
Borstad talks about the high pressure on the intensive care unit, with patients in all rooms. The wards even used previously unused rooms for patients to make room for them.
We have our own groups in the COVID-19 ward. We have high pressure from other patients, we have children, we have two patients on a heart-lung machine that requires two nurses to stay, Borstad says to explain the pressured situation.
On Friday, 14 patients with COVID-19 infection were admitted to UNN in Tromsø.
Mystar fly home
Borstad also talks about his colleagues who were forced to rebook plane tickets that were going to take them home at Christmas.
We also have colleagues from neighboring countries who are happy to postpone the trip home. This has serious consequences for many.
The director of human resources says she understands the frustration of employees who have already worked so much this fall.
— But it’s a difficult operational case, and to ensure patient safety, we’re forced to take this step, Pertiussen says.
She also describes the intensive care unit for the press, where we were forced to redistribute nurses from other units to the intensive care units.
We are also trying other schemes that will motivate nurses to want to work more for increased fees.
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