A senior Melbourne nurse has spoken out about her desperate bid to keep her career in the face of health bureaucracy gone mad.
Sarah, not her real name, complied with the original vaccine mandates and was double-vaccinated to keep her job.
She said she weighed up her options at the time and went along with the mandates because she is passionate about her work.
Now pregnant and having already experienced side effects from initial vaccine doses, she faces termination unless she receives her booster dose despite still waiting on expert medical advice about her situation.
"I think it's really concerning that you have senior nurses who know the positions, who know the role, who are willing to work and rather than, in my case, wait a few weeks, maybe a month for me to sort out the whole process of getting vaxxed, rather than wait that month the hospital is happy to go through the process of terminating me," she said.
Sarah said she was issued a notice informing her of disciplinary action, potentially resulting in termination of her employment, if she was not boosted by a non-negotiable deadline.
She says that while our hospitals have never been busier, nurses ready, willing and able to work have been frozen out of positions as bureaucrats look to push through international visas for overseas nurses to tackle labour shortages.
Sarah says she knows of other nurses who are frustrated after being forced out of their profession due to their vaccination status, while international nurses, often lacking the experience, are flown in to plug the gap.
"I've worked for 10 years and it's never been harder to be a nurse," she said.
"To put it into perspective ... my particular ward has lost quite a large number of nurses, some of those are due to mandates, some of them are due to staff burnout.
"Nurses don't want to work when they don't have people to work with, when the workload is just getting heavier."
Last month Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced 1000 nursing and midwifery students to be paid $28 per hour would be deployed across almost 30 hospitals in a bid to boost staffing numbers.