Fatigue is a significant issue for all our members across the Northern Territory. Fatigue has serious consequences for our members- Paramedics, Patient Transport, and Emergency Medical Dispatchers.
Fatigue is a complex phenomenon that has effects on physical characteristics, cognition, behaviours, and physical and mental health. Members are at breaking point and this comment sums up a lot of their frustrations.
“No support from management, the blame gets shifted to us saying we need to address our own fatigue. We are the problem according to management. They are very good are shifting the blame game”
Paramedics and ambulance officer fatigue are associated with burnout, attrition, sick leave, work disability, physical and mental health, lack of disconnect from work, and impaired performance.
The Union is asking St John NT to listen to our members’ concerns as none of their policies and/or current practices address how fatigue is understood by paramedics.
This is a serious shortcoming, as if we do not explore the factors paramedics recognise as contributors to fatigue, we will not be able to identify and action appropriate measures to reduce the effects of fatigue on the wellbeing of the workforce and alleviate its effects on clinical performance and safety.
Every fatigue issue that is expressed/reported by our members to St John NT management either in person, via Riskman, or via the Union is a cry for assistance, support and mitigation.
Due to the severity of fatigue our members are experiencing, the Union is urging St John NT to work collaboratively to identify and action appropriate measures to reduce the effects of fatigue on the wellbeing of the workforce and mitigate its effects on clinical performance and safety.
We need to focus on intervention and education to lessen the experience of paramedic fatigue and the negative and safety outcomes for paramedics and patients as a result.
We are still waiting to hear from St John NT.