A nurse has described harrowing details of short-staffing at a nursing home in the east of the country over the Easter weekend.

A nurse has described harrowing details of short-staffing at a nursing home in the east of the country over the Easter weekend.
The nurse was asked to work in a temporary capacity last Friday and Saturday.
She told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that she was the only nurse on duty after receiving a desperate phone call from the owner.
“Covid had got into the home and it had taken a number of days to confirm. In the delay between getting patients tested and the positive results, almost all of the staff had been in.
“All of their nursing staff and healthcare assistants had to self isolate.
“The number of times the owner had booked agency staff, overstaffed the home, but people just weren’t arriving.”
She described the difficulties in administering care in the home as a result of the staffing issues.
“I thought there would be at least one healthcare professional who knew the run of the place.
“You don’t know where keys are, you don’t know how to open cupboards, you don’t know where patients’ rooms are.”
She outlined how after spending two hours with a dying patient she had to immediately attend to another resident close to death.
“I ran up the stairs and found another patient that was critical who had been not that sick earlier in the day. That patient then passed away.”
The nurse explained how in conjunction with the owner she called both of the deceased’s families.
Becoming emotional, she described efforts to preserve the dignity of the patients who had died.
Latest coronavirus stories
“Two healthcare assistants helped me to clean the patients up and fix them as well as we could.”
She told the programme staffing levels were making containing Covid-19 within the home extremely difficult.
“One Covid-positive patient had dementia but was fully mobile. If we saw her interacting with other residents we could move her away, but I didn’t have the staff to follow her.”
“PPE wasn’t our issue, we had loads of PPE. Our issue was staffing.”
Praising the owners of the home, the nurse described how efforts were made to find another nurse to work later in the day, without success.
“The management can’t have done more. They tried to source another nurse that afternoon when they realised that one didn’t show up and they also didn’t show up.”
She told the programme that she had been hired directly by the home and questioned why the HSE was not utilising volunteers who had signed up for the ‘Be on call for Ireland’ initiative.
“I put myself on call with the HSE as a nurse. I have yet to be contacted.
“We are short staffed and people are willing to go to these homes but they have not been contacted.”