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Stories abound of shrinking staff numbers in Australian residential aged care facilities. Fewer people to take on larger workloads and fewer shifts to go around. It is one of the most contentious aspects evident, right across the residential aged care system.

Sadly, evidently with the blessing of authorities, some providers have opted to reassign certain duties – that previously only a registered nurse could do – to the sector’s newest position, “personal care workers”.

Alarm bells are ringing because these less expensive workers, it is claimed, are being tasked with administering medicines “without proper training”.

Just what it was like working in that environment was explained at a recent aged care forum by a qualified nurse.

In this long read from the Bundaberg NewsMail, which describes her typical work day, this nurse outlines the shortcuts needed to meet productivity expectations as well as the reasons she no longer works in the sector.

Conversation starter

Are you a current or former aged care facility worker? What changes have you seen over the recent past in staffing levels and what has that meant for residents and staff? Did you leave the sector because of staffing level issues or are you considering doing so? Or have you or a loved one seen staffing level changes in your aged care facility?

Have your say on aged care-2