Nurse union issues grave warning: “The nation’s hospitals are unprepared”
March 6, 2020 |
SALON – As COVID-19 cases continue to grow in the United States, thousands of unionized nurses say that they find the lack of preparedness among their employers and hospitals alarming — and fear that they may be at risk as a result.
On Thursday, at a press conference in Oakland, Calif., the National Nurses United (NNU) gave the result of a survey sent out to union members asking if they felt their employers were prepared for the ongoing outbreak.
Pulling from recent responses from more than 6,500 nurses in 48 states, NNU said only an estimated 29 percent of nurses reported their employer had a plan in place to isolate a patient with a possible COVID-19 infection.
Twenty-three percent said they “didn’t know” if there was a plan in place at their hospital.
While 63 percent of the nurses surveyed said they had access to N95 respirators at their units, many said they haven’t been fitted or trained on how to properly use them.
“The results of our national survey of more than 6,500 nurses is truly disturbing,” Jane Thomason, an industrial hygienist for the union, said on Thursday. “They show that large percentages of the nation’s hospitals are unprepared to safely handle COVID-19.”
Health care workers are one of the groups at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Deborah Burger, RN, and one of the union’s presidents who works at a Northern California Kaiser facility, read a letter from an anonymous nurse, who works at a Northern California Kaiser facility, who is currently in quarantine. The letter read:
“As a nurse I’m very concerned that not enough is being done to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I know because I’m currently sick in quarantine after caring for a patient who tested positive … ” Read more.