Offaly Nurse Who Works Abroad Says She Would Come Home In The Morning If Conditions Were Different

Written 7 months ago by Angel Croitor

Miriam McMahon, who resided in Rhode in County Offaly, moved to Australia in 2015 to pursue nursing. She spoke to Will Faulkner on Midlands Today about the chances of ever returning home to pursue a medical career in Ireland. Miriam is a member of a group of nurses in Australia supporting nurses and midwives here called #GiveUsAReasonToComeHome.

“I worked for two years in St. James’ and then I moved down to Tullamore and worked there for a year – after three years in the Irish health system I was burnt out. I was actively thinking of leaving nursing.”

After her friend passed away Miriam had to put everything she’s experienced into perspective. She remembers saying “life’s too short to be living like this”.

So the question that is on everyone’s mind is – is it really that much better in another first world country?

“I didn’t expect such a difference – it’s astronomical. It’s better of quality of life for nurses, it’s less stressful – we are on significantly more than what they pay in Ireland. It’s respect for our skill and our qualification.”

When we asked how does it compare Miriam says that the quality of life that is truly the difference. There is less to stress about financially but also there is far more respect from all around the board. The gap is about €500 extra a month. Something to ensure that you’re not falling behind on bills and emergency funds.

“In Australia – you have a max of six patients during your shift. Most of the time you’ll have four. In Ireland you could have up to fifteen which is just unsafe and irresponsible. If you have a family member in hospital – you don’t want a nurse distracted.”

Apart from just the other nurses on shift to support you there’s a clinical educator, a team leader, a nurse manager, and so on. These people are there to jump in and give advice and help when things get busy. They don’t have a patient load so that they can focus on those who focus on the patients.

With the glaring differences Miriam has experienced abroad we wanted to know – are there any signs of things improving here back home?

“At the moment – no – it sounds like it’s getting worse.”

You can hear the full interview up above and discover the differences between home and abroad in medical care.