The nurses at the Nyngan Multipurpose Centre have said they feel vulnerable and fearful at their workplace and within the community.
The nurses met with the general manager of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association general manager Judith Kiejda on last Wednesday and voiced their safety concerns.
“The anger and fear level here is very high. These nurses want to give the best care they can,” she said.
“But they can’t do that when people get up in their face or say this, that and the other on social media. These people are professionals, it stops them doing or reacting in a way they ordinarily would do.”
Ms Kiejda said multiple violent/antisocial incidents at the Multipurpose Centre over the last three months have caused these fears.
“The community need to understand they do the best the can for the community they serve. But there is a zero tolerance to violence,” she said.
The union leader said they will be lobbying the ministry of health for a new duress alarm system and an extra staff member in the “dark hours” who can do security and personal care.
“Nurses phone triple zero and obviously they don’t have a 24/7 police station. Emergency services need work together; the police, ambulance, fire and rescue NSW and the nurses,” Ms Kiejda said.
Ms Kiejda said she understands not every possibility could be covered, “but every stone should be turned as far as safety goes. I do fear someone will get hurt.”
The nurses are also feeling ostracised from the local community.
“We need to try and do repair work between the community and the staff,” Ms Kiejda said.
Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries agrees nurses’ safety is a priority.
“I think everyone is agreed on that and I will work with the LHD to ensure the right measures are put in place,” he said.
The Western NSW Local Health District (LHD)have said the security at the hospital is highest priority for them.
"[The LHD] considers the security of the staff and patients to be of the highest priority,” a spokesperson said.
“[The LHD] has upgraded several security measures recently at the Nyngan MPS and will continue to work with staff on site to identify and address security issues."