'We were worked to the bone in unsafe conditions' – Irish nurse on the realities of her job

Irish nurses are “worked to the bone in unsafe conditions”, a young woman who emigrated to Australia has said amid the ongoing nurse’s dispute.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has announced strikes for tomorrow, Thursday, February 12-14, 19 and 21 amid an ongoing row over pay and staffing retention issues.

Anna Enright, from Tralee, Co Kerry, has lived and worked as a nurse in Melbourne, Australia, for five years and tells us why she left Ireland:

“When I first started I worked in hospitals in the midlands on three-month contracts for €13.60 an hour,” she said.

“We were worked to the bone in unsafe conditions because of chronic understaffing.

“There was no support, no room for job growth, not to mention the salary.

“There are amazing nurses in Ireland, they work so hard considering what they’re put through.

“I’m very angry over it, I’ve been speaking to the girls at home who are striking, my heart breaks for them.

“I honestly feel bad, and kind of guilty at how good we have it over here, we make money that allows us to have a great lifestyle, we enjoy work, are so supported to grow in our field.

“Nursing is highly respected over here, whereas I feel in Ireland it never will be, to be honest I can’t see a change happening, the Government don’t respect nursing as a profession to increase our pay, it’s not that we are greedy for money, we need to be able to live.”

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