Nurses’ Rest Time during Shifts
The Leader just told me that I always ask for more and I should ask for less as well. So, I will. Less workload for our nurses.
As I shared during my Budget speech, many nurses do not get any rest while on shift. Nurses’ dedication to and responsibility for their patients mean that many sacrifice their break time for patients. We should not expect our nurses to work without proper breaks, which places physical, mental and emotional stress on them. Can MOH ensure that nurses’ breaks during their shifts are protected?
Nurses’ Rest Time between Shifts
Not only do nurses barely get a chance to rest during their shift, they often get insufficient rest between shifts. It is not uncommon for nurses to work overtime and a PM-AM-PM-AM shift – or PAPA shift. This means that nurses work two consecutive sets of afternoon shifts and morning shifts.
Many nurses are burnt out and tired and this affects patient safety too. Can MOH look into ensuring that nurses have a minimum amount of rest between shifts, similar to what we do for air stewardesses and air stewards?
More Support Staff for Nurses
Lastly, during the height of the pandemic, 900 Singapore Airlines cabin crew were redeployed as Care Ambassadors to support our healthcare staff. Nurses shared with me that they appreciated the presence of these Care Ambassadors who addressed patients’ service needs, allowing nurses to focus on clinical work.
Will MOH look into formalising the role of Care Ambassadors and providing our nurses more support through hiring more ancillary healthcare staff so that they can focus more on clinical work?
Watch the speech here.