I was not surprised to hear the news yesterday that nurses at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital emergency department had been given personal alarms to wear.

I imagine it won't be long before Hawke's Bay and the rest of the country follow suit.

In fact a spokeperson for the the Hawke's Bay DHB say they are looking into alarms for nurses now.

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It's a sad reflection on our society, which is steadily becoming more violent thanks to the misuse of alcohol and drugs.

It's just incredible that hospitals have to train staff in de-escalation techniques and some are going so far as to re-design their facilities to cope with lockdowns.

Remember we are talking about hospitals here, not prisons.

The dictionary says a hospital is "an institution providing medical and surgical treatment and nursing care for sick or injured people".

Unfortunately many people seeking help at the emergency departments of hospitals these days don't give a toss about staff or other patients.

They are abusive, violent and, quite frankly, don't deserve the care and attention provided for them.

District health boards have doubled their offer to nurses to settle recent pay negotiations.

They have been offered three pay rises of 3 per cent over the next three years.


They deserve every cent of it.

I know a couple of nurses and not only are they kind caring people they are incredibly hard working. They don't work by the clock, they work to ensure their patients' care.

I don't know how many letters to the editor have been sent to this paper from people who have been in hospital thanking them for their care.

People grumble about the food but the reality is it's not a five star restaurant, and it's not home cooking.

While the food is important, of course, it doesn't have to be flash.

As the saying goes we should all walk a mile in their shoes.

I bet if every one of us walked a mile in a nurse's shoes, whether they work in the wards or the emergency department, we would be saying give them a all a medal — and a pay rise.