Whanganui nurses and other health care workers took to the picket lines. We asked them why?

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Marilyn Gammeter - nurse

"I've been nursing for 23 years and it's no longer a place I feel safe, where I feel the patients are safe either.

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"The pay offer; for me personally it would be nice if we were recognised at the similar level as police and teachers but for me the paramount issue is safe staffing."

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Alana Adamson - mental health nurse

"I'm a mental health nurse so it's about giving people time to talk to them and time to care. And if we don't have enough nurses you have to limit some of that time you spend with them.

"I'm always giving my best but it's not always as much as I'd like to give."


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Monique Wright - nurse

"A safe patient-to-nurse ratio is what we need in the hospitals. The money is obviously a thing for a lot of nurses but the majority of the nurses want safe staffing.

"Why would you study for three years come out with a 30,000 loan when you can get what the guy at McDonald's gets?"

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Jeanie Tamarapa - nurse

"We believe that the public have been misled because the 500 nurses ... Whanganui will only get two or three for the whole of the district. For the whole of the DHB.

"Two nurses between the whole lot ... how's that safe. We have five or six patients each, no healthcare assistants to help out. Night shifts we have 13 patients for each nurse. It's not safe."

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Sylvia Kado - healthcare assistant

"I look after dementia patients more than what I do in the ward. When we have dementia patients we know some are confused and if there's short staff levels we are at risk.

"If I'm alone and the nurses are busy too, how will I keep all of the patients safe?"