INMO Says Shortage of NCHD’S Should Not Lead to Closure of Emergency Departments

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said that the current shortage of NCHDs should not lead to the closure of Emergency Departments in some hospitals around the country.  This could be averted if proper use was made of nursing and other health professionals.

Dave Hughes, INMO Deputy General Secretary said: “The HSE was warned of the impending shortage of NCHD’s two years ago and the current crisis management is a manifestation of how poorly the whole issue has been handled. It is an exaggeration to say that a unit should close down because of a shortage in one profession.  Up to 70% of the care given in ED’s is provided by nurses and under medical supervision and protocol they may be in a position to carry the bulk of the services in many of the departments facing a shortage of NCHDs. ”

A one dimensional approach to this situation will not work.  It is time to think outside the box.  We need to use the nursing resource that we have, who could staff a very safe, accessible ED with medical supervision. We should have nurse led units, for example; minor injury units; walk in chest pain clinics; stroke units etc.  There should be direct referral to nurses and other health professionals e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists and others.

According to Mr Hughes “Nurses are on duty 24/7 and they are best placed to deliver high quality care around the clock.  We need to use the expanded role of the nurse to do procedures previously done by NCHDs. There are nurses already trained to do so.  The demand for hospital services is growing all the time and closing down units or curtailing opening hours is not the answer.  Clogging up already overcrowded A&E departments in the larger hospitals will not solve the problem. We need to work with what we have and advance the role of the nurse so that patients can get the care that they need, when they need it and where they need it.  Sometimes good solutions come from bad situations and we believe it is time now for all involved to look at ways to work smarter with the resources that we have.”


One Response to “INMO Says Shortage of NCHD’S Should Not Lead to Closure of Emergency Departments”
  1. eddoctor says:

    As an NCHD, I find this suggestion laughable. Most nurses, even with their training, refuse to even take blood or resite an IV cannula, even in the ED. Will they now agree to assess patients in the ED? I think not.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.