"This could become the norm."
Nurses and midwives across the region went on strike on Thursday, again calling on the NSW Government to hear their concerns and fix a health system that is in crisis.
It was the second time in six weeks that they went on strike and, if things don't change, the pattern could continue.
President of the Bathurst branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA), Kathi Hamilton, said nurses and midwives have to be heard.
"This could become the norm. Nurses are leaving the profession because they're just not being heard and they are not be acknowledged," she said.
"The state government has to start acknowledging the staff concerns, because it will filter trough into all areas of the health system."
As part of their 24-hour strike on Thursday, nurses held a rally outside the court house and marched to Bathurst MP Paul Toole's office.
Mr Toole was in Parliament at the time, but that did not stop nurses and midwives from making sure that at the very least his staff heard their message.
Ms Hamilton said the key message she wanted people to take away was that nurses are overworked and need better staffing levels.
"We need to be heard. We need to get supported," she said. "The staff are exhausted, they're burnt out and they just want to be heard and supported and hear back from the government. At least acknowledge us and support us."
One of the key requests of nurses is for better nurse-to-patient ratios. They want one nurse to every three patients in the emergency department (ED), one for every four on the floor, and for babies to be factored into patient counts in maternity.
Ms Hamilton said these ratios were for "the safety and the acuity of the patients".
She also said some EDs don't have, but need, a triage nurse 24 hours per day and educators to support new nurses in their training.
Every nurse present at Thursday's rally said they had been working extra shifts and working short staffed.
In addition to better staffing, nurses want a pay rise.
Some at the rally reported earning less than cashiers, despite having gone through several years of higher education to become qualified.
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